It’s getting to be a tired old story, but Fox News yet again has misreported and distorted the facts about clean energy.
Fox News claimed that the future of solar power in the U.S. is “dim” because we have less sunlight than countries like Germany, the current world leader in solar generation. But Fox completely reversed the facts: the U.S. receives far more direct sunlight, but has been outperformed due to Germany’s superior solar policies.
On Fox & Friends, co-host Gretchen Carlson claimed that the U.S. solar “industry’s future looks dim.” The show brought on Fox Business reporter Shibani Joshi, who said that Germany’s solar industry is doing “great” because “they’ve got a lot more sun than we do,” before adding, “In California, it’s a great solution, but here on the East Coast it’s just not going to work.”
In reality, of course, the United States has far better solar potential than Germany. Yet, as the MediaMatters article explains, “while Germany gets relatively little sunlight, it does have a more coherent national solar policy than the U.S.” That’s why Germany’s racing ahead on solar power, while our country is underperforming its potential: because our national energy policy leaves much to be desired, not because we don’t get enough sunshine.
So, those are the facts, which Fox News gets completely backwards. The question is, why does Fox do this time and again? Are they simply misinformed, or is this yet another example of what looks to be relentless, anti-clean energy bias at the network? Sadly, the latter appears to be more the case. As this analysis explains, time and again, Fox “has pushed the narrative that clean energy doesn’t work, and that fossil fuels are America’s only viable energy option,” even as the vast majority of Americans support a clean energy future.
Why has Fox turned itself into a force that is deployed time and again in defense of the fossil fuel industry and against clean energy scaling? The obvious answer would be money, as pro-fossil-fuel groups vastly outspend clean energy advocates on TV. Presumably, Fox News’ management is well aware of these numbers, and has made a business decision not to bite the hand that feeds it. In addition, there does appear to be a partisan divide when it comes to energy. Fox clearly knows its market niche, and caters to it by perpetuating and reinforcing its views, even if they’re factually incorrect.