The Guardian reported on Tuesday that several conservative groups met earlier this year to coordinate a campaign to turn public opinion against wind power. A confidential memo distributed at the meeting outlined a PR strategy that would, among other things, use media outlets including Fox News and the Wall Street Journal to disseminate anti-wind messaging. The goal of the media campaign is to provide "cover" for elected officials to vote against wind power:
The coordinated effort stretches across multi-channels and multi-voices, and appears to come from as many as a dozen separate sources, but the message is the same and stays on point. The created barrage of voices provides enough cover that the elected officials have a way to vote no because they can clearly see they have support for our position.
The memo was reviewed by American Tradition Institute fellow John Droz Jr., who organized the meeting. ATI has "formally disavowed the project," but Droz "remains a fellow at the thinktank" according to The Guardian.
It's no wonder that anti-wind activists consider Fox News an ally in this effort, given the network's ongoing assault on renewable energy. Fox has claimed that wind energy "doesn't work," calling it "pointless" and "the Ted Bundy of bird killers." And the Wall Street Journal is doing its part, calling for the elimination of a key tax incentive for wind in an editorial published earlier this week.
Even Rupert Murdoch, the media mogul behind both News Corp. outlets, is joining the conservative war on wind. Murdoch took to Twitter last month to lambaste wind development in the UK, complaining that the "English spring countryside [is] about to be wrecked by uneconomic ugly bird killing windmills." In a later tweet, Murdoch called wind power a "waste of money now and forever."
In fact, the U.S. wind industry is growing rapidly, and according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, "the average wind farm will be fully competitive by 2016." "In the last four years, wind energy has provided 35% of all new U.S. power capacity," according to the National Association of Manufacturers, and has generated thousands of jobs.
As for the aesthetics, we'll let you decide which is the real eyesore: