CBS’s Hatchet Job on Solar Power

CBS Scoop Goes Kerplop

How could CBS get it so wrong?

In an “investigative report” televised this week, CBS trashes the Obama administration’s renewable energy program, claiming to have found eleven “new Solyndras.” That reference, of course, is to the California solar company that crashed-and-burned in 2011, taking with it a half-billion dollars in taxpayer-funded loan guarantees.

So, we’re waiting for eleven renewable energy companies holding $6.5 billion in DOE loans to go belly up? Yikes! If true, that is a heck of a scoop. A heck of an alarming scoop. (Wait, I thought Fear Factor was on NBC, no?)

Fortunately, it’s not true — which we know thanks to an investigation by Media Matters.

The progressive not-for-profit research organization does a great job walking readers through all of the errors in the CBS exclusive. I won’t repeat all their work here, but here are some of the highlights (or lowlights).

  •  Despite repeated references to 11 new Solyndras, CBS correspondent Sharyl Attkisson names only seven in the course of the report — and makes no reference to the missing four green time-bombs.
  • One of the companies named by CBS  (SunPower) was bought before the DOE loan guarantee was finalized. The buyer, NRG Energy, will be repaying the loan.
  • Same for First Solar, which sold the three solar projects with loan guarantees. The purchasing utilities, not taxpayers, are on the hook for those loans.
  • Evergreen Solar, one of the “CBS 11,” did go bankrupt. The company, however, received no federal funds, according to Media Matters.

The list of errors continues. You can read them all, here.

And you can let CBS know what you think of such biased “investigations” by sending them a comment, or a tweet at @CBSnews.

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