In the weeks surrounding the passage of the historic Inflation Reduction Act, Fox News repeatedly attacked the bill using a variety of disingenuous narratives – most notably by falsely suggesting the bill was actually the same as the Green New Deal.
As a key cog in the fossil fuel industry’s disinformation network, Fox pushes these overwrought claims about pragmatic, but very imperfect, climate initiatives like the Inflation Reduction Act to undermine public support for more ambitious climate action at scale.
The Green New Deal remains the most ambitious climate proposal ever introduced into Congress. Because it would remake and restructure wide swaths of the American economy, including nearly eliminating fossil fuel use, Fox News and right-wing media were genuinely freaked out by it. By dominating coverage of the Green New Deal since its introduction in 2019, Fox was able to shape its viewers’ perceptions of the bill by labeling it as a “totalitarian” “takeover” of the American government that would preclude Americans from air travel and cheeseburgers.
Because the bill had no chance of passing Congress, Fox News used all of the bad will it had engendered against the proposal to label and attack any and all climate action as some variation of the Green New Deal. This included a failed Senate coronavirus relief vote in March of 2020, the modest climate plan President Joe Biden announced in August 2020, and the American Jobs Plan introduced in April 2021. Fox host Tucker Carlson is even tethering complex global conflicts to the Green New Deal.
Fox networks’ obsession with the Green New Deal knows no bounds; from February 24-August 3 this year, in the 160 days after Russia invaded Ukraine, Fox News and Fox Business mentioned the Green New Deal 564 times – often attempting to blame climate action for the war. Now, network personalities are falsely suggesting the Inflation Reduction Act is really the Green New Deal in disguise.
Fox News hosts liken the Inflation Reduction Act to the Green New Deal
The Inflation Reduction Act, which was announced on July 27 and signed into law on August 16, allocates an historic $369 billion in climate and energy provisions. However, it also allows the ongoing development of fossil fuel infrastructure and shortchanges low-income communities and communities of color, who are disproportionately harmed by climate change and environmental injustice. But these stark realities are not what drew Fox News’ ire, because the network is far less interested in how climate change and environmental degradation will affect its viewers than it is in carrying water for the fossil fuel industry.
During coverage of the Inflation Reduction Act, the network’s personalities and guests repeatedly blurred the lines between the new bill and the Green New Deal while unfairly attacking other portions of the bill that focus on taxes and funding for new IRS agents.
- Fox host Sean Duffy: “Listen, do the Democrats think we’re stupid? That they going to sell us the Green New Deal 2.0 and package it as an Inflation Reduction Act and the American people are going to buy it?” [Fox News, Jesse Watters Primetime, 8/16/22]
- Fox contributor Johnny Joey Jones on the Inflation Reduction Act: “Biden just passed a big Green New Deal.” [Fox News, The Five, 8/16/22]
- Fox & Friends Weekend co-host Rachel Campos-Duffy: “One of the most elitist moments that we actually saw was all of them cheering after they passed this fake Inflation Reduction Act, which was really a Green New Deal. They lied to the American people. They cheered after, knowing that that bill was going to make Americans poorer.” [Fox News, The Faulkner Focus, 8/16/22]
- Fox anchor Dana Perino: “On the IRS point, your chances of getting audited now have already gone up by two times, so you’re twice as likely to get audited now. And what is the money going for? The reason they had to keep this money in there is to figure out a way to pay for the petite version of the Green New Deal that they just got.” [Fox News, America’s Newsroom, 8/15/22]
- Campos-Duffy: “All the billions and billions of dollars that are now going to these climate boondoggles, that’s actually a sacrifice to Mother Earth. … And the elitism of it, because this bill, which focuses on climate – so they sold it as inflation reduction, immediately after it was signed, they high-fived each other because they knew they just passed the Green New Deal, essentially.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends Weekend, 8/14/22]
- Fox News host Sean Hannity: “Now if she [Sen. Kyrsten Sinema) does ultimately cave, the Schumer-Manchin $500 billion Green New Deal energy spending spree that they purposely label as something it's not – the Inflation Reduction Act – will become the law of the land. … Now another $500 billion to appease the climate religious cult that rules the Democratic Party.” [Fox News, Hannity, 8/3/22]
- Campos-Duffy: “And by the way, the bill also is being touted by Al Gore because it has so much of the climate goodies that they want in it. Is this the trick, that they take something called the Inflation Reduction Act and they basically are tucking all the Green New Deal stuff into it because they know they can't pass it, but they just put it in behind these kinds of bills?” [Fox News, Fox & Friends Weekend, 7/30/22]
- Fox host Jesse Watters: “Oh, and then they’re going to raise taxes on corporations and then they’re going to tax methane, which is going to increase your electricity bills. None of this is going to stop inflation because it’s not designed to. It’s like a skinny margarita. This is the skinny version of the Green New Deal.” [Fox News, Jesse Watters Primetime, 7/28/22]
- Conservative podcast host Josh Holmes: “The heavy emphasis on this is like a Green New Deal Lite.” [Fox News, Special Report, 7/28/22]
- Hannity: “He [Sen. Joe Manchin] says he will now support the Biden-backed Green New Deal socialist bill on climate, along with more reckless spending on, quote, ‘renewables.’ … Democrats are once again lying to you, trying to claim their socialist spending bonanza will reduce inflation." [Fox News, Hannity, 7/27/22]