"Fox’s The Five Averages One Distortion Per Minute In Assault On Clean Energy"
This is a Media Matters cross-post.
In just over six minutes, four hosts of Fox’s The Five peddled six distortions while launching an unrelenting attack on clean energy investments.
The Five: Wrong About The Relative Size Of Clean Energy Jobs
Fox Fact: “The Brookings Institution Found Clean Technology Jobs Accounted For Just 2 Percent Of Employment Nationwide.” From Fox News’ The Five:
KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE (co-host): [I]f you want the actual facts and statistics on this — this is what I love. Now, the Brookings Institution found clean technology jobs accounted for just 2 percent of employment nationwide, and only 2.2 percent in Silicon Valley. This is what I’ve been telling people. People say, “Oh, we’re going to improve the economy. Let’s sponsor clean energy. Green jobs — it’s going to be the answer to everything’s future.”
The reality is, it isn’t. And it’s not going to be enough. And it’s not going to be enough definitely to get us in the right direction for jobs. So, I think, right now, it’s a lot of green hype. [Fox News, The Five, 8/19/11]
FACT: Brookings Said Clean Economy Sector “Employs More Workers Than The Fossil Fuel Industry.” In July, the Brookings Institution released a report on the clean economy, estimating that the sector encompassed “2 percent of all positions.” The report noted: “Though modest in size, the clean economy employs more workers than the fossil fuel industry and bulks larger than bioscience but remains smaller than the IT-producing sectors.” [The Brookings Institution, 7/13/11]
FACT: Brookings Noted That “Clean Economy” Jobs Pay Better. The Brookings report also stated that clean economy jobs are “manufacturing and export intensive,” and that “[m]edian wages in the clean economy — meaning those in the middle of the distribution — are 13 percent higher than median U.S. wages.” [The Brookings Institution, 7/13/11]
The Five: Wrong About The Effectiveness Of Green Job Investments
Fox Fact: Clean Energy Investments Are Unsuccessful Because They Create Few Jobs. From The Five:
GREG GUTFELD (co-host): Eric, this fact, California spent $60 million on green jobs and they created 719, which is $82,100 subsidized job — per job. That’s pretty incredible. That’s not success.
ERIC BOLLING (co-host): That’s actually pretty good, though, compared to the rest of the programs that are going on. [Fox News, The Five, 8/19/11]
FACT: Clean Energy Produces More Jobs Per Dollar Than Military Or Fossil Fuel Investments. National Public Radio reported:
There are reasons to believe that clean energy is a good investment, though. This part of the economy is small and growing fast. So far, it gets a good bang for the government buck.
“If you took the government’s stimulus program on green activities, you get 17 jobs more or less per $1 million of expenditure,” said economist Robert Pollin of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, whom the Commerce Department hired to run the numbers.
For comparison’s sake, Pollin calculates that the military creates about 11 jobs for every $1 million; the oil and gas industry produces about five jobs per $1 million.
Pollin said clean energy gets a better payoff because kick-starting a new industry requires a lot of manpower.
“There’s way more jobs in clean energy because essentially there’s a lot more construction jobs, there’s a lot more manufacturing jobs, there’s a lot more transportation jobs,” he said. “So it’s really the process of building the new industry that makes it a good generator of jobs.” [National Public Radio, Morning Edition, 6/13/11]
The Five: Wrong About China’s Subsidies In Its Clean Tech Sector
Bolling Minimized Chinese Government’s Subsidies To Clean Tech Sector. From The Five:
BOLLING: Here is what’s going on. The green energy, yeah, it’s the wave of the future, but the private sector has to come up with it. It can’t be government subsidizing people, throwing $500 million here, $1 billion there, and trying to create an economy or technologies that’s not ready yet. China is doing it because they’re doing it from the private sector in conjunction with the public sector. [Fox News, The Five, 8/19/11]
The Five: Wrong About Green Jobs In Spain
Tantaros Pushes Long-Discredited Spanish Green Jobs Study. From The Five:
ANDREA TANTAROS (co-host): Look what it did to Europe, OK? In Spain, green jobs destroyed 2.2 jobs for every one green job. In Italy, the capital needed, for one green job, could have created five green jobs.
BOB BECKEL (co-host): Where do you guys get these statistics from? Do you get them from Karl Rove? [Fox News, The Five, 8/19/11]
The Five: Wrong About The Export-Import Bank
Fox Fact: Export-Import Bank Wasting “Our Money” In Clean Energy Loans To Asia. From The Five:
BOLLING: Here’s the Ex-Im Bank, Ex-Im — U.S. Ex-Im Bank, loaning money to private industries in China and India, our money to develop green projects in China and India. [Fox News, The Five, 8/19/11]
FACT: Export-Import Bank Loans For Asian Renewable Energy Projects “Support The Purchase Of U.S Goods And Services.” From the Export-Import Bank’s press release concerning loans to India for a solar energy project:
Fred P. Hochberg, chairman and president of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank), is leading a business-development mission this week in India. Chairman Hochberg announced $25 million in Ex-Im Bank loans for two new solar-energy projects and is promoting the Bank’s financing products to support the purchase of U.S. goods and services by Indian buyers.
“India is a key country for U.S. exports and an increasingly important market for Ex-Im Bank. In the first nine months of fiscal year 2011, the Bank has approved $1.4 billion in transactions on behalf of American exporters and their Indian buyers. This financing has increased our overall exposure in India to $5.5 billion and supported over 10,000 American jobs,” said Chairman Hochberg. [Export-Import Bank of the United States, 7/19/11]
FACT: U.S. Export-Import Bank Is Not Taxpayer-Funded. An informational background about the Export-Import Bank explained:
What is Ex-Im Bank? Ex-Im Bank is an independent federal agency that helps create and maintain U.S. jobs by filling gaps in private export financing at no cost to American taxpayers. The Bank provides a variety of financing mechanisms, including working capital guarantees, export-credit insurance, and financing to help foreign buyers purchase U.S. goods and services.
Ex-Im Bank operates without taxpayer funding and earns revenue that helps reduce the deficit. By charging fees and interest on all loan-related transactions, Ex-Im Bank is self-sustaining and is able to cover all operation costs and potential losses while also producing revenue. The Bank has generated $3.4 billion for U.S. taxpayers over the past five years. [Export-Import Bank of the United States, 5/27/11]
The Five: Wrong On The Effectiveness Of Wind Energy
Fox Fact: Wind Power Is “So Pointless.” From The Five:
GUTFELD: Don’t bring up wind power. It’s so pointless. You need to have alternative energy to back it up.
GUTFELD: You need to have batteries.
BECKEL: Oh, that is absolutely –
GUTFELD: Yes, because it’s intermittent. It’s intermittent, Bob.
GUTFELD: You need an idle engine there to back up the wind.
BECKEL: Oh, that’s just bull.
GUILFOYLE: It’s not self-sufficient. You do have to have another alternative source of energy to back it up, because it turns on and it turns off. [Fox News, The Five, 8/19/11]