Throughout the Solyndra proceedings, one of the biggest perpetrators of the “failing” solar myth has been Fox News. Fox has made wild claims in its coverage of Solyndra, including calling clean energy a “fantasy,” “pointless,” a “hoax,” and that “green energy is failing.”
Trying to dredge up another solar scandal, Fox recently pointed to another company, SunPower, as proof of solar’s failure. Here’s Megyn Kelly calling SunPower a “failing company“:
Well, if you thought the Solyndra loan scandal was bad, listen to this one. New questions being raised today as we learn that another failing company, SunPower, was given a government loan guarantee for $1.2 billion, which is of course more than twice the amount given to Solyndra, which is now bankrupt. And right now that company too, not looking good.
Watch the Fox News attacks on SunPower:
Not only is SunPower regarded as an industry success (one solar market expert called it “a pretty big success story”), but Fox’s sister company — also owned by News Corporation — is confident enough to hire SunPower. Last year, Dow Jones Company, a subsidiary of News Corp, enlisted SunPower to build a giant solar power system in New Jersey. Dow Jones claimed that at peak conditions, the installation would generate 50 percent of the energy needs for its corporate campus. On the News Corp Global Energy Initiative page, Dow Jones CEO Les Hinton is quoted saying the solar installation stands for the future:
“If this solar installation stands for anything at Dow Jones, it should stand as a testament to a company with vision. Dow Jones isn’t waiting for the future. We are making it. We are pioneering profitable digital business models, and we are developing innovative technology to make information more accessible and more useful and ultimately more interesting.
Clearly, companies like News Corp trust solar enough to invest in it. Experts call SunPower a “safe bet” and “strongly placed,” but News Corp’s attack on itself exemplifies how anti-innovation the conservative ideology has become. Energy Secretary Steven Chu has insisted, “We have to press forward … Not by clutching to the past but by seizing the future.” However, conservatives — like those on Fox — cling to conspiracy theories and special interests at the expense of clean energy innovation.
As Stephen Lacey points out, it is ridiculous that Fox is even attacking SunPower, because it never received a loan guarantee. SunPower is building a solar project for the massive global energy company NRG, which received the loan guarantee — funding that did not go to SunPower.