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Tuesday, September 30, 2014 / PROGRESSIVE JOURNALISM FOR POSITIVE ACTION
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Dave Johnson
Published: Wednesday 28 September 2011
“Here is the other message that is being sent out loud and clear to the rest of us: America is for oil and coal.”

Solyndra ‘Scandal’ About Big Oil, King Coal Power And Intimidation

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Last week big oil/big coal sent a not-subtle message to the country’s investment community: if you back companies or technologies that compete with us we will crush you. Our media/political machine will accuse you of every crime in the book. Your picture will be plastered on the front page of every newspaper in the country looking like you are on the FBI’s “Most Wanted List.” We will haul you before Congress and grill you like a tri-tip on national television. The evening news will speculate that you should be in prison.

Here is the other message that is being sent out loud and clear to the rest of us: America is for oil and coal. If you want alternatives let China do it.

Extending To Everything

Here is what the conservative propaganda machine does. It sets a narrative, pounds out a drumbeat on that narrative, and then every news event is twisted to leach the lesson of the narrative. The oil-backed right had been on an anti-green kick for some time. In The Phony Solyndra Solar Scandal I gave some examples -- just a taste -- of this narrative development:

Attacking Green Manufacturing

The Solyndra accusations are really just one part of an ongoing conservative and oil-interests-funded anti-green-manufacturing campaign drumbeat. Long before Solyndra's bankruptcy the Heritage Foundation was running stories like 2008's Green Jobs Are Con Jobs, 2009's The Green Job Myth Exposed, and this year's Obama’s “Green Jobs” Pipe DreamThe Green Jobs Story Obama Doesn’t Want You to HearAre “Green Jobs” the Answer?,Are Green Jobs ‘Gone with the Wind’?...

Media Matters had previously exposed the nature of this ongoing effort, in Heritage Foundation Green Jobs Panel - Bought and Paid For By ExxonMobil,

Instead of showcasing the views of unbiased academics and economists, the Heritage Foundation put forth a panel of individuals financially connected to ExxonMobil.

... The ENTIRE PANEL Received Money From ExxonMobil.

That is what they do. They develop the narrative -- in this case, anti-green, and when there is a story in the news they twist it to teach the lesson.

The Solyndra Lesson

So now Solyndra is in the news. On FOX news -- 2nd-largest shareholder is an oil billionaire -- the story is played 100 ways hour after hour. On talk radio it is repeated endlessly. In right-wing blogs it echoes everywhere. In right-wing newspapers, echoed in “mainstream” outlets by right-wing supported columnists, and driven into the mainstream. Lie after lie after lie, repeated until it becomes “truth.”

Charles Krauthammer On Solyndra: A “Toxic Combination Of Lenin Socialism and Crony Capitalism”

So the narrative was that efforts to push for green-energy alternatives jobs was bad, Solyndra came along and was used to teach the lesson. Now that Solyndra is the narrative, it is being used to teach the larger lesson - anything government does is bad, anything opposing oil and coal and big multinationals is bad. Dana Milbank in the Washington Post, The birthing of Solyndra,

Since the solar-energy company went belly-up a few weeks ago — leaving taxpayers on the hook for $535 million in loan guarantees — a business that was once the poster child for President Obama’s green-jobs initiative has instead become a tool for Republicans to discredit most everything the administration seeks to do.

Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah used Solyndra to argue against worker-training benefits. Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina used it to argue that the federal government should stay out of autism research. Disaster relief, cancer treatments, you name it: Solyndra has been an argument against them.

And this week, the government faced the prospect of a shutdown because House Republicans added a provision to the spending bill to draw more attention to — what else? — Solyndra.

The Serious People

One side intimidates, and means it. So they are seen as the “serious” people -- deadly serious. If you cross them, you will have trouble. Serious trouble. The other side plays along, caves, accommodates, appeases, refuses to exercise power when they have it, does little even to enforce obvious lawbreaking by the big -- serious -- players.

Which side do you think people are going to take seriously?

The media won’t call out the intimidators because they are intimidated. One part of this intimidation is the organized, funded “liberal media” accusation. But that is just part of a larger strategy: neutralize those who might call you out on what you are doing. Yet another part of media intimidation is the effect on people’s careers. If you call out the right, you are a “leftist” and you career is in danger. If you are known as a liberal your career is not going to advance in most outlets. If you go after corporations you are “anti-business” and your career is not going far.

But you can say any silly thing, be as wrong or stupid as you can be, as long as it supports corporate/right positions. Nothing bad will happen to you. In fact you are more likely to do well careerwise – be promoted, make more money, get access, speaking fees, etc. And if you actually work for the right’s machine, the sky is the limit. You will always, always have a job at an “institute” or in an “association” or even on the government payroll as a staffer. Seriously.

Seriously Using Power

Oh, and for those concerned about government subsidies, deals, etc.:

And is that pesky government trying to regulate you?

And not just big coal and oil:

As for getting goodies from the government?

This list could go on all day.

This is how power is used, and big oil/big coal/Wall Street/Big Multinationals have that power.

Solyndra - Government Doing The Right Thing

The first thing that needs to be emphasized here: the government -- under Bush first, then under Obama -- was right to assist Solyndra and other solar companies. Our government wants to help us capture some of the new green-energy industrial revolution for our country. It is millions of jobs and trillions of dollars coming down the road. To accomplish this the government stepped in to help explore promising new technologies, just like they do with cancer research. Solyndra had a promising new technology and that is why the Dept. of Energy started considering them for a loan guarantee - under the bush administration - that would encourage private investors to take the plunge.

That is all that happened here. Period. One company went under but the technology was promising and still is. Jobs were created - here. Research was funded - here. Facilities were built and will be used - here.

But China stepped in and put $30 billion into winning this bet - there - and this drove the prices down, so one company here went out of business. That is what happened.

Did it cost the government some money? Yes and no - the jobs, research, facilities, supply chain is all still here. And the money was nothing compared to the money the government puts into big oil, big coal, big ag, big financial, etc.

Silicon Valley's San Jose Mercury News Silicon Valley observers say fears of 'more Solyndras' are overblown,

...the scandal has already created an unexpected roadblock for another area solar firm, San Mateo's SolarCity. Earlier this month, the company heralded conditional Department of Energy approval for a $275 million loan guarantee that would help put solar panels on dozens of U.S. military bases. On Friday, the company's CEO sent an urgent letter to Congressional leaders, saying new federal concerns in the wake of the Solyndra scandal could scuttle the SolarCity deal.

... "In the past 48 hours, the DOE has informed us that while they remain strongly supportive of Project SolarStrong, they will be unable to finalize their approval of the loan guarantee" prior to next week's expiration of the loan program.

Adding that the high-flying company ultimately may have been undone by the rise of lower-cost competitors, he said: "Solyndra isn't a sign of the failure of solar. It's a sign that this market is booming."



One word to describe the

One word to describe the Obama engrey policy-dumbass. Libya is not the reason the oil prices are going up; Pres Obama is. No other country in the world would be stupid enough not to use its own natural resource. This left wing looney progressive socialistic flavored adminstration has made this country more dependant on overseas oil. We have shut down the gulf drilling, left thousands unemployed, we shut down drilling everywhere for his stupid golly gee' dreams of future' green' jobs. Damn.

Rrdgerdoger: It is very

Rrdgerdoger: It is very obvious you know nothing about technology, finance, or manufacturing, much less solar. Saying that large scale solar doesn't work is one of the stupidest statements you right wingers have ever made. Lets see, a 500 megawatt solar plant, like the one FirstSolar is building, that costs billions less than a comparable nuke plant, that produces power for 30 years with no fuel costs is not economical. And you wonder why intelligent people laugh at you.

you must be kidding, right?

you must be kidding, right? this post is a practical joke, right? The Solyndra jobs are still there? Huh? they're out of business, bankrupt, their entire business plan was doomed to failure from the start because solar energy is not economical for large scale applications; never has been and likely never will be. you can't dump billions into it and make it work, hasn't worked for public education either. But seriously, the costs to build a large scale solar energy plant are far more than the power you can ever get out of it. Solyndra was a manufacturer, not a research and development company. put your political bias aside and research it objectively.

"One side intimidates, and

"One side intimidates, and means it. So they are seen as the 'serious' people -- deadly serious. If you cross them, you will have trouble. Serious trouble. The other side plays along, caves, accommodates, appeases, refuses to exercise power when they have it, does little even to enforce obvious lawbreaking by the big -- serious -- players".

Yup. I can't say better than that.

And we ARE a serious society.

How do you fight the serious players?

Yeah, China does it because

Yeah, China does it because that is the way big business wants. Big Business has no patriotism, they only owe allegiance to the power the dollar can bring them.

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