A coordinated right-wing campaign to turn the US public against renewable energy?


A network of ultra-conservative groups is ramping up an offensive on multiple fronts to turn the American public against wind farms and Barack Obama's energy agenda,” the UK Guardian reports.  Having pushed global climatic disruption pretty much off the radar screen in the US election campaign, thanks in no small part to President Obama’s failure to speak out on it, the global warming denial machine can focus its energies on undermining ‘green energy’.  Green energy development: that’s the agenda that political opportunists both inside and outside the administration have promoted as a supposedly noncontroversial alternative to talking honestly about climate.

[Photos courtesy of Free Photo Bank]

Suzanne Goldenberg, the Guardian US environment correspondent, reports May 8:

Conservative thinktanks step up attacks against Obama's clean energy strategy

Confidential memo seen by Guardian calls for climate change sceptics to turn American public against solar and wind power

A network of ultra-conservative groups is ramping up an offensive on multiple fronts to turn the American public against wind farms and Barack Obama's energy agenda.

A number of rightwing organisations, including Americans for Prosperity, which is funded by the billionaire Koch brothers, are attacking Obama for his support for solar and wind power. The American Legislative Exchange Council (Alec), which also has financial links to the Kochs, has drafted bills to overturn state laws promoting wind energy. …

A confidential memo outlining a coordinated right-wing strategy was developed at the American Tradition Institute for a meeting of anti-windpower groups in Washington, DC.  The Guardian notes:

ATI is part of a loose coalition of ultra-conservative thinktanks and networks united by their efforts to discredit climate science and their close connections to the oil and gas industry, including the Koch family. …

ATI is a relatively new entrant, coming to national attention only last year when it filed lawsuits against climate scientists including Michael Mann and James Hansen. …

"We do see evidence of co-ordination [in an active campaign against windpower]," said Peter Kelley a spokesman for the American Wind Energy Assocation. … [full article here]

In my view, a fundamental transformation toward a sustainable energy system based on highly-efficient use of decarbonized energy sources such as windpower is urgently needed because the alternative is the threat of global climatic disruption from continued large-scale burning of fossil fuels.  If there were no threat of global climatic disruption, then why would there be any great urgency to expediting the shift to solar and windpower?   But watch, now, how many people who consider themselves to be progressive on these issues will come up with "messaging" to defend government support for windpower without connecting it in a meaningful way to the climate change problem.

See DeSmogBlog's post: The Guardian Exposes Fossil Funded Groups Coordinating Renewable Energy Attacks, which includes the ATI strategy memo.

Earlier posts:

Boykoff: Obama’s rhetoric of ‘clean energy’ vs. the reality of climate change

Martin Hoffert: “No. No. No to decoupling the issues of human energy systems from climate change.”

Climate Science Legal Defense Fund: Support Michael Mann

Letter calling on Univ. of Virginia to prevent inappropriate open records disclosure of climate scientists’ exempt emails and documents

Americans for Prosperity president Tim Phillips: Next steps in the war on climate science

Americans for Prosperity: Distorting climate change science and economics in well-funded campaign

Koch Industries multibillionaire Koch brothers bankroll attacks on climate change science and policy

This entry was posted in Climate Change Mitigation, Global Warming Denial Machine. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to A coordinated right-wing campaign to turn the US public against renewable energy?

  1. Forest says:

    Because I live in a windy area, I am looking at installing an efficient 5 kw wind turbine to power about 90% of my electrical needs which will include an electric/gas hybrid car. It will take about 5 years to pay for itself, after which I will have mostly free power to run my home and my car. And it adds to the resale value of my home. This turbine has few moving parts and should run for about 30 years will little maintenance. Why would I elect to pay for the escalating costs of natural gas, gasoline and grid power instead of this? This is a much better investment than the stock market.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>