Media Help Keep Power Supply Switched Off

Sweltering heat is sweeping the nation, ushering in fears that the “slammed” power grid won’t be able to meet the demands of consumers desperate to keep cool. But as much as journalists are now focused on that threat, they have largely ignored nationwide power issues while rabid environmentalists have battled nuclear and coal power plants.CNN’s Jim Acosta explained on “American Morning” that energy analysts are very concerned if new power plants are not built:

“[T]he next crisis is looming unless the nation starts building new power plants within five to seven years. Energy analysts fear the return of the blackout of ’03,” said Acosta on July 9.

But new power plants get mostly opposition from the media and the eco-extremists.Even as recently as June when President Bush was promoting nuclear power, CNN’s Brianna Keilar attacked the prospect from the left saying, “at least one nuclear watchdog group says they don’t believe that this facility should even be operational.”But CNN didn’t stop there. Anchor Don Lemon tried to scare viewers:

“Brianna, you’re awfully close to all the controls there. You could just turn around and flip a switch and who knows what would happen.”

The media have been flipping the switch to off. Journalists have been on a green kick since before “An Inconvenient Truth,” hyping “Live Earth,” cooing over Al Gore, even pressuring him to run for president, and buying into global warming hysteria. NBC and its affiliates even devoted 75 hours of airtime to cover the “global warming awareness” Live Earth concerts July 7, which included opposition to coal and nuclear power.Part of Al Gore’s seven-point pledge specifically urges action against the creation of new coal power plants. And some Australian band members playing at Live Earth even wore shirts that read “Say no to nuclear energy,” according to The New York Times blog.Gore and his eco-extremist brethren would oppose increasing the power supply with any source that creates carbon emissions. But even when a “clean” alternative is presented such as nuclear power, many of the enviros still argue against it, and get some help from the news media discouraging it as an alternative by spreading fear and relying on the arguments of left-wing groups.Ironically, nuclear energy offers an emissions-free alternative. Some environmentalists support it, including Greenpeace co-founder Patrick Moore, but many do not. And even when reporters have something positive to say about nuclear power, they offset it with worries about the danger.“Could you imagine a bigger target for terrorists?” Jim Axelrod asked in a Feb. 1, 2006, story about nuclear power plants. At least Axelrod noted that nuclear is an emissions-free power source.The Department of Energy projects that by 2025, the U.S. will need 50 percent more power than in 2003, but without coal and nuclear power options, what is left? Not much.And that is a serious power problem.

Julia A. Seymour
Julia A. Seymour
Julia A. Seymour is the Assistant Managing Editor for the MRC's Business and Media Institute.