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Max Greenberg

Author ››› Max Greenberg
  • STUDY: One Year Later, Media Still Providing One-Sided Solyndra Coverage

    ››› ››› SHAUNA THEEL, JILL FITZSIMMONS & MAX GREENBERG

    A Media Matters analysis finds that Fox News has aided Republican efforts to make Solyndra the face of clean energy in 2012 by incessantly covering it a year after the company declared bankruptcy. Meanwhile, mainstream media outlets have disproportionately hosted opponents of clean energy to discuss Solyndra, and uncritically repeated allegations that Solyndra's loan guarantee was politically motivated, even though a yearlong investigation has found no evidence to support the "crony capitalism" narrative.

  • Fox Misleads On Consumer Savings From Fuel Economy Standards

    ››› ››› SHAUNA THEEL & MAX GREENBERG

    Fox News is ignoring the gasoline savings that newly finalized fuel economy standards will provide for consumers in order to hype the cost of new fuel-efficient cars. The standards, which will substantially reduce our dependence on oil, are expected to provide consumers significant savings at the gas pump that will more than offset the sticker price increase.

  • Conservative Media Rubber Stamp Romney's Flawed Energy Plan

    ››› ››› JILL FITZSIMMONS & MAX GREENBERG

    Conservative media outlets are praising Mitt Romney's newly released energy plan, claiming it will lower gas prices, create jobs, and "make America an energy superpower." But experts say Romney's goal of energy independence by 2020 is a "pipe dream" and that his plan overlooks environmental consequences and fails to address the real obstacle to U.S. energy security: our dependence on oil.

  • Right-Wing Media Declare Victory As Court Blocks Clean Air Rule

    Blog ››› ››› MAX GREENBERG

    This week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit struck down an EPA rule intended to curb power plant emissions carrying pollutants like sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) downwind across state lines on the basis that it overstepped the EPA's statutory authority under the Clean Air Act. Although the court made clear that its decision was not a comment on the "policy merits" of the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR), which was put in place to address public health concerns, the right-wing media immediately mobilized to proclaim it "a major blow" against environmental regulations and what they claim is the Obama administration's "war on coal."

    The right-wing reaction to the decision was just the latest chapter in a years-long campaign by conservative media to sow fear about the economic impact of EPA pollution controls while downplaying or denying their health benefits. A Wall Street Journal editorial claimed the "flawed rule" is part of the EPA's "regulatory war" on coal plants, and The Washington Examiner's Conn Carroll called it "just one of many costly regulations currently in the pipeline."

    RedState blogger Daniel Horowitz called the decision "a big victory" while Fox Nation ran a story from The Hill under the headline "Obama EPA Whacked Upside Its Head."

    Horowitz also claimed the rule was part of "Obama's inexorable war on American energy [and] consumers." In a similar vein, a Washington Times editorial called the CSAPR "one of the EPA's most insidious schemes to shut down affordable power generation," and referred to "an all-out war on affordable energy."

    But the conservative media have grossly exaggerated the effect of the CSAPR on consumers. According to the EPA, its "effect on prices for specific regions or states may vary, [but] they are well within the range of normal electricity price fluctuations." A Government Accountability Office analysis of the EPA's data estimated a national average retail electricity price increase of just 0.8% as a result of CSAPR. And a report by Resources For The Future found that neither CSAPR or the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) would "create the shock to the electricity system that some worry would lead to reliability problems."

  • Wash. Times Strains To Blame Obama For Gas Price Spike

    Blog ››› ››› MAX GREENBERG

    Today, a Washington Times editorial complained about President Obama's "persistent moves to choke off fossil-fuel production" in the latest of many attempts by the paper and its op-ed columnists to falsely blame the administration for rising gas prices. But experts say that market factors, not U.S. energy policy, are responsible for gas price volatility.

    Earlier this year, conservative media outlets seized on rising gas prices to attack President Obama, with one Fox host predicting that high gas prices could "derail" Obama's re-election. But when prices plummeted a few months later, those same pundits tied themselves into knots trying to argue that while Obama is to blame for high gas prices, he does not deserve credit for the price drop, and that falling prices may even be a bad thing.

    The Washington Times employed the same faulty logic in today's editorial, claiming that Obama got "lucky" when prices fell, but now that prices are rising he "has no one to blame but himself":

    Don't look now, but gas prices are beginning to bite hard again. That's bad news for President Obama, who, until now, might have thought he had gotten lucky when prices dropped earlier in this critical election year. As the energy issue makes the campaign trail bumpier, Mr. Obama has no one to blame but himself.

    In fact, energy experts say that blaming Obama for rising gas prices is "not credible," and analysts have found "[n]o statistical correlation between how much oil comes out of U.S. wells and the price at the pump." Even Fox News acknowledged during the Bush administration that "no president has the power to increase or to lower gas prices."

    Today's editorial itself noted a host of factors contributing to the current price spike, including "fears of conflict with Iran, summer-driving-season increases, a better-than-expected July jobs report that boosted oil futures and, most recently, a California refinery fire that could reduce West Coast gas supplies by nearly 10 percent." But none of those prevented the Times from pivoting to Obama's alleged attempts to "choke off fossil-fuel production":

  • TV Media Ignore Climate Change In Coverage Of Record July Heat

    ››› ››› JILL FITZSIMMONS & MAX GREENBERG

    Scientists say that human-induced climate change made this year's record heat more likely, and project that extreme heat will become more common in the United States. But a Media Matters analysis of media coverage of record-breaking heat in July finds that major television outlets rarely made the connection between heat waves and a changing climate.