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Clean Power fox news vs solar power, SunPower and Dow Jones

Published on December 3rd, 2011 | by Tina Casey


Fox News Bites NewsCorp’s Nose to Spite Solar Power

December 3rd, 2011 by  

fox news vs solar power, SunPower and Dow JonesThe U.S. solar energy company SunPower is the latest target of Fox News’s apparent campaign to paint the U.S. solar industry as a doomed-to-fail enterprise, only this time Fox has put the bite on Dow Jones, one of its own sister companies in the NewsCorp media empire. According a report in Think Progress, Fox news recently slammed SunPower as a “failing” company, but Dow Jones picked that very company to build a huge solar installation at its New Jersey headquarters, which it touted as a one of the “smart solutions for the future of our business.” So, did Fox News just call Dow Jones stupid?

NewsCorp Squeezed by Solar Power

Intra-corporate squabbling is probably the last thing embattled NewsCorp chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch needs right now, what with the phone hacking scandal and all, and this could be just the start of another big headache. Dow Jones is the publisher of The Wall Street Journal, the business community’s paper of record and a comfortable home for conservative-leaning commentary. When a mainstream corporate citizen like Dow Jones says solar is a smart investment, and another media company under the same umbrella insists on the opposite, something’s got to give.

Fox News vs. Solar and Auto Industry, Too

SunPower is not the first target of Fox’s anti-solar push, which gained steam this fall with the Solyndra bankruptcy. Since the Solyndra investigation failed to reveal any systemic problem, Fox moved along to find the next poster child and landed on SunPower. That bumps Fox right up against the U.S. auto industry. Namely, Ford Motor Company and SunPower announced a major initiative just a couple of months ago, to pair SunPower’s home solar installations with purchases of Ford’s new Focus electric vehicle, which will have its manufacturing home right here in the U.S.

Fox News, Solar Power and Support Our Troops

On top of all that, Fox is also butting heads with a population sector that it has traditionally staked out as home ground, members of the U.S. military. SunPower just announced a contract to build a solar energy installation for the U.S. Department of Defense, which has been aggressively

pursuing solar power and other forms of alternative energy.The agency has started a slow but inevitable transition out of fossil fuels for strategic, tactical and logistical reasons, including the urgent need to reduce troop deaths and injuries related to guarding fuel convoys. Just as the military has traditionally relied on strong federal support for key domestic industries such as petroleum, automotive, aviation and nuclear, it stands to reason that the success of DoD’s solar energy mission will depend heavily on federal support in a wide variety of forms.

Please note correction: Rupert Murdoch is Chairman and CEO, not president as referred to earlier.

Image credit: Fox, some rights reserved by Harlequeen.

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About the Author

specializes in military and corporate sustainability, advanced technology, emerging materials, biofuels, and water and wastewater issues. Tina’s articles are reposted frequently on Reuters, Scientific American, and many other sites. Views expressed are her own. Follow her on Twitter @TinaMCasey and Google+.

  • vern

    Lets have some sanity here. Sunpower isn’t in perfect financial shape. Dow Jones or Ford doing business with them isn’t necessarilly an endorsement of their financial stability and in fact many purchase contractsfor large capital investments like solar plan for the opposite – they dictacte what will happen if a company ceases to operate.

    In the case of a solar purchase, the buyer must be assured there are third party service providers who can provide maintenance should Sunpower go under.

    The people that hate Fox News I’m sure didn’t praise Dow Jones for its solar initiative either. In any case, I don’t see how you’ve come to the conclusion that Fox/News Corp is anti solar.

    The only thing I see is that they have pounced on the Obama administration for Solyndra and this is just a follow on by them to find another issue with another company.

  • Pingback: North American Solar Photovoltaic Market to Double in Q4 2011 | CleanTechnica()

  • andreww

    Solar and Wind schemes are expensive supplements, not alternatives. To replace coal-generated electricity in the US would require 300 million acres and at least $10 trillion. We don’t have either.

    The Solar charade will end in 2012 when people understand that despite subsides of up to 100% – solar power will never even keep pace with new demand.

    We need clean, affordable electricity and more of it. Solar will never be affordable.

    • Anonymous

      Bogus Andrew.

  • Anonymous

    We’re seeing the business sector of the right wing start to pull away from the ideological sector when it comes to renewable energy.

    Clearly wind and solar are becoming significant business and there is money to be made. For many on the right profits take priority over philosophy. For many on the right philosophy is faked if it is seen to help profit.

    We’re now at the point where it seems almost certain that renewables are going to push out fossil fuels. The big remaining question is whether the push will be fast enough to keep the planet from overheating.

    2012 should be a very interesting year. Wholesale solar panels have apparently already dropped below $1/watt in large quantity. China is selling solar for $1.15/watt in smaller quantities. We could see retail prices get close to $1/watt. With those sorts of prices installation will soar.

    I’ll bet that in a few years we’ll see the right get behind renewable energy because their business partners will tell them to.

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