January 21, 2011- After losing their fight for Proposition 23 in California, one might have hoped the world would be safe from oil-rich climate deniers Charles and David Koch for a little while.
But unfortunately their misinformation campaign is drifting over the border into Ontario, Canada where renewable energy is once again under fire from the "forces of yesterday."
Tim Hudak, the leader of Ontario's Conservative party, wants to gut the Ontario Green Energy Act — an initiative that Al Gore has said is "widely recognized now as the single best green energy program on the North American continent." The Environmental Defence report Faces of Transformation analyzes the impact this legislation is having in Ontario.
And since the facts aren't on his side, Hudak is citing the infamous "Spanish study on renewable energy jobs" which is linked to funding from astroturf group the American Energy Alliance, a "free-market think tank" funded by Exxon Mobil and Koch Industries. The study erroneously claims that Spain's policy on renewable energy caused the country to lose jobs as the author's analysis implied the cost of creating a renewable energy job is higher than the average cost of creating a job in Spain.
Americans are likely familiar with this bogus study, as it was used extensively by conservative climate skeptics in the media to fight the Obama administration's 2010 budget proposal to create tax incentives for clean-energy programs, as well as to oppose many other recent efforts to promote the growth of the renewable energy industry. The study has been debunked by the Spanish government, the U.S. Department of Energy and even the Wall Street Journal (not exactly a bastion of pro-conservation sentiment).
Regrettably, some Ontario journalists haven't done their homework on this front yet, and as a result the study's misinformation has been spread unchecked.