Have you ever heard of the Covid-19 pandemic? Or the UK’s decision to leave the European Union? Of course you have. And of course deniers have too, but you wouldn’t know it judging by a spate of recent pieces seeking to blame renewables for the fact that it’s fossil fuels that are expensive and unreliable.
At the Washington Times, an op-ed by “energy attorney” and utility consultant Terry Jarrett blamed renewables for the Texas blackout, and the resulting $46 billion it spent on electricity that week, despite the fact that it was the state’s deregulated and gas-heavy grid that drove up prices.
Over at the Koch-funded RealClearEnergy, the (ashamed) Koch crony Daniel Turner also blamed “energy-rich” Texas’s blackout on renewable energy, because it “is incapable of producing the same amount of energy and cannot withstand the elements.” Not mentioned is the recent federal report that determined the two main causes of the blackout. The first was power plants not being weatherized, and it was mainly the gas plants that froze. The second was that gas transmission systems couldn’t withstand the elements either, so the gas plants that weren’t frozen couldn’t get deliveries. Overall, 60% of the power that cut off was from gas failures.
You wouldn’t know that by reading the Wall Street Journal’s opinion page, though. They rejected the factual findings of gas’s failures in an editorial last Friday, and on Monday editorial board writer Allysia Finley brought a new bogus argument to their pages.
In their never-ending quest to falsely disparage renewables, Finley wrote that “increased global demand has caused the price of coal to triple and the price of natural gas to increase fivefold over the past year.” Hmm, now, what were coal and gas prices like last year, during the global pandemic that shut down travel and business across the planet? Finley doesn’t say, instead continuing with “Europe’s cap-and-trade scheme has pushed prices even higher.”
Ah yes, it’s not that prices are recovering after falling so far during the pandemic that prices went negative, or what Wall Street Journal reporters described as expert opinion that the “short-lived” “surge in coal demand is unique to the pandemic” as well as the fact that when it comes to prices, “the rise is off a low base after an exceptional fall in demand last year.”
And the UK’s issues with importing energy from the EU is all because of Boris Johnson’s totally sincere climate pronouncements, not that whole “Brexit” business that promised to make importing things from the EU more of a hassle.
At least according to the WSJ’s opinion page. Ask it’s fact-checked reporters, and you might find a different story.