Clean Energy Fact Checking Website Launches

Is Solyndra an example of “crony capitalism”? If you parse mainstream media coverage closely, you’ll see that myriad investigations have determined it isn’t. And yet the relentless rhetoric of clean-energy detractors – and the repetition of those talking points by even well-intended media – has created a haze of uncertainty.

Enter Energy Fact Check, a new website from the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE).

energy fact check

image via Shutterstock

The site says it aims to give people some straight truth on renewable energy issues, like Solyndra, “by responding to inaccuracies and misrepresentations with the facts on an industry that is popular, productive, growing and essential to America’s economy, energy independence and national security.”

By the quote it’s pretty obvious that Energy Fact Check comes at its task from a pro-renewables vantage points. But facts is facts, right? And at least when Energy Fact Check offers them, it gives citations.

Take the claim that “Clean and renewable energy is too expensive.” Energy Fact Check answers with six cited points, each a little nugget about a positive trend in clean-energy pricing. It also offers a dedicated page on clean-energy costs (and other key issues) with statistics, the latest news on the topic and a library of further information.

So Energy Fact Check doesn’t appear to be a neutral arbiter, but a counterbalance to the power of the fossil fuels industry in shaping the debate.

As ACORE President and CEO Vice Admiral Dennis McGinn told Forbes contributor Tom Konrad: “The sad truth is that America’s debate on clean and renewable energy is unbalanced and over-politicized. …  [O]pponents of renewables are pushing the occasional bad news as if it’s the only news. They are dominating the conversation through misrepresentation, exaggeration, distraction and millions of dollars in lobbying and advertising. EnergyFactCheck.org and @EnergyFactCheck will help ensure that the facts about our industry are front and center.”

Sports columnist, newspaper desk guy, website managing editor, wine-industry PR specialist, freelance writer—Pete Danko’s career in media has covered a lot of terrain. The constant along the way has been a fierce dedication to knowing the story and getting it right. Danko's work has appeared in Wired, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.

    • Vulcanalex

      While some details about Solyndra might be incorrect, it is a fact that they are out of business and cost the government and their investors a lot of money.