Fox News Exemplifies GOP Flip On Clean Energy

Blog ››› ››› SHAUNA THEEL

Yesterday on Fox News, Dana Perino, former White House Press Secretary for President George W. Bush and current co-host of The Five, rebutted the notion that Republicans "just want to drill." She said: "If that were true, then you wouldn't have these DOE [Department of Energy] loans in the first place, because those were passed by a bipartisan Congress."

Perino is right that DOE's clean energy loan guarantee program was created by the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which was the product of a Republican-controlled Congress and President Bush. In fact, as Politifact noted, Bush was touting the program as late as January 6, 2009. His administration advanced Solyndra's application for a loan guarantee and Obama's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 expanded and funded the program, including Solyndra's subsidy.

What's odd is that Fox has been criticizing Obama for pointing out this very same fact during his interview with Marketplace. Perino thinks Republicans deserve credit for creating the program. But when Obama says it, Fox claims he's "blaming" Republicans for Solyndra. In fact, right after Perino's comments, her co-hosts segued into bashing Obama for his remarks, with no one acknowledging the contradiction:

Fox even hosted Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-TX) and former Sen. George Allen (R-VA) to criticize Obama's comments, without ever mentioning that both these politicians voted in favor of the 2005 law that created the loan guarantee program.

The contradiction at Fox highlights the fact that investing clean energy used to be a bipartisan cause. The point is not to spread the "blame," but to show that the economic and public policy rationale for the program was once broadly understood.

These days Fox regularly calls clean energy "nonsense" and the Republican party's energy policy seems to consist of little other than "drill, baby, drill" -- whether Perino likes it or not.

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