“60 Minutes” Gets Everything About Clean Energy Wrong

Bill Scher

On Sunday, 60 Minutes aired an odd hit piece on the Obama administration’s clean energy investments, strongly suggesting that it has wasted taxpayer money on pipe dreams. Thankfully, on Monday, Media Matters, the San Jose Mercury News and the National Memo (with a big assist from The New New Deal author Michael Grunwald) published solid takedowns. Media Matters also unconvered that 60 Minutes disingenuously edited one person’s comments.

What’s particularly strange about the negative slant is that the positive payoff from the President’s investment is staring us in the face.

Wind capacity is way up.

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Solar power deployment is way up.

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Electric vehicle purchases are way up.

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Our clean energy portfolio is better off than today than five years ago. This isn’t even a close call.

Granted, the White House doesn’t get all the credit. Market forces and China’s investments play a role too. But you simply can’t discount President Obama’s $90 billion investment in renewable energy, and his regulations mandating more efficient automobiles.

And you can’t cherry-pick a few investments that didn’t pan out and ignore the bottom line. At least, not if you ever want to succeed in anything.

Especially since there is so much more to do. Our renewable energy use is growing, but there is still massive untapped potential and the climate clock is ticking. We need to be building on what works, not ignoring what works in favor on myopic carping.

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