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Monday, March 22, 2021
CNS Follows MRC In Pushing Anti-Wind Turbine Narrative In Texas Until It Can't

Like its Media Research Center parent, MRC "news" division started its coverage of severe cold weather in Texas that shut down electric power to millions by pushing the usual right-wing narrative in favor of fossil fuels and attacking alternative sources like wind and solar. Susan Jones did her duty in a Feb. 16 article:

Coincidentally, but right on cue, the generator-supplied power went out in the home of former Texas Governor and former Trump Energy Secretary Rick Perry Monday night, just as Perry began his interview with Fox News's Tucker Carlson.

Carlson said the power outage was "proving the point that we're making" -- that it's the government's responsibility to provide reliable power during life-threatening cold snaps, and green energy is not up to the job.

"So the point is, you need to have a diversity of energy sources, no matter where you are, and it couldn't be a greater example of that in the State of Texas right now," Perry said.

"We've got massive amount of wind farms out in West Texas that are frozen up, they are just like a propeller on an airplane, they froze up last night, no wind out there. All of that wind energy was lost."

This was followed by an article from Craig Bannister touting how far-right Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert "urged followers to watch a video clip she posted of Fox News Host Tucker Carlson 'exposing the green energy scam and how bad policy hurts people'" and claiming that "frozen wind farms in West Texas caused power outages in the state when temperatures fell to one degree Fahrenheit in Dallas (no mention, of course, that Boebert is an extremist who has praised QAnon and the Proud Boys thugs). Melanie Arter joined with stenography on how "Texas’s reliance on green energy in light of the recent power outages illustrates how “the Green New Deal would be a deadly deal” for the United States, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott told Fox News’s 'Hannity' on Tuesday" -- never mind that the Green New Deal doesn't actually exist -- and that "our wind and our solar got shut down, and they were collectively more than 10% of our power grid, and that thrust Texas into a situation where It was lacking power in a statewide basis."

But that narrative quickly got overtaken by facts, as even CNS admitted. It published a Feb. 18 column by an analyst from the conservative Heritage Foundation admitting the problem wasn't wind turbines freezing -- after all, they work just fine during the winter in northern states -- but that the turbines weren't winterized, and that natural gas generated power failed as well: 'Equipment not hardened for such cold temperatures froze along fuel supply infrastructure and at multiple generators, and natural gas resources were diverted from generating electricity to supplying heat."

The same day, Arter did some stenography for the Biden White House,  featuring how "White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said it was failures in coal and natural gas that is to blame for the state’s power outages, not wind and solar despite the state’s wind turbines freezing over," also quoting Psaki saying that "the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which operates the state’s power grid, have gone so far as to say that failures in wind and solar were the least significant factors in the blackout."

Even though that narrative became inoperative, CNS still found things to complain about. Bannister groused that "As Texas residents continue to suffer power outages and dangerously cold temperatures, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is assuring the public that illegal aliens being detained in the state still have heat, food and water," and Arter was similarly annoyed that "Former Democratic presidential candidate and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) on Thursday blamed Texas Republicans for the blackout that left millions without power in the state."

Bannister, however, tried to put a twist in the narrative, however, quoting Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert claiming that "Texas officials knew they needed to winterize the state’s power plants in preparation for severe cold. But, instead, they chose to spend Texas’ financial resources on developing less-reliable energy sources that couldn’t stand up to severe weather." Gohmert and Bannister offered no evidence that this was the case.

Bannister also gave space to a Texas mayor who may or may not have quit his job and "told citizens the city and county owe them nothing and they should fend for themselves as they were freezing in extreme cold without power."

Posted by Terry K. at 1:21 PM EDT

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