Last December, the Checks and Balances Project (C&BP) put out a groundbreaking study on how fossil fuel front groups get their pro-dirty-energy, anti-clean-energy propaganda into major newspapers across America. What C&BP found was: 1) "Fossil fuel interests have provided at least $16.5 million to 10 [front group] organizations from 2006-2010;" 2) "Fossil fuel-funded organizations used targeted, focused messaging to support fossil energy sources and attack clean energy;" and 3) "Within a five-year period, these groups and their personnel have been mentioned on energy issues at least 1,010 times in major daily newspapers, averaging four mentions a week – or more than once every other day."
Sadly, although the C&BP study came out nearly a year ago, it doesn't appear that much has changed. The latest example comes via The Cost of Solar, which addresses a recent piece of propaganda in the Wall Street Journal on solar subsidies:
Generally speaking, reading and debunking horrible clean energy or electric vehicle stories in the mainstream media is not something I enjoy doing. But someone has to do it, and since I’ve been studying cleantech in depth for several years now and am in the blogging business, that someone seems to increasingly be me.
Unfortunately, the Wall Street Journal yesterday published a horrible story by Todd Myers of the Washington Policy Center. (Curious what the Washington Policy Center is? Read this and this and this.) The piece misses the beat, and then proceeds to actually pick up the drums and drop them out the window.
I clicked on those links, by the way, and I what I read was predictably disturbing. For instance, it turns out that the Washington Policy Center uses the money it receives from the usual, pro-fossil-fuel sources to spend its time denying climate science, smearing clean energy, and even attacking LEED building energy efficiency standards. As for Todd Myers, he spoke at the climate-science-denying, ExxonMobil-funded Heartland Institute's International Conference on Climate Change. He also has a book entitled, "Eco-Fads: How The Rise Of Trendy Environmentalism Is Harming The Environment," which claims among other things that the "desire to 'be green' can cloud our judgment, causing us to place things that make us appear green ahead of actions that may be socially invisible yet environmentally responsible."
So, this is the individual the Wall Street Journal allowed to publish a smear piece on solar power in its pages. Without, we'd point out, any mention - at least any that's obvious - of who Mr. Myers is, who he works for, who pays his salary, etc. All of which would be highly valuable information to readers, but which would also immediately tip them off that what they're reading is nothing more than fossil fuel propaganda. Perhaps that's exactly why the Wall Street Journal chose not to make that crucial information available?