Despite the fact that ExxonMobil is still a significant contrarian funder, the flurry of media interest in the company's funding agenda sparked by UCS's exposé died down soon after its release and remains feeble to this day. What happened?
Too often the news media have provided a platform for fossil fuel industry-funded think tanks and advocacy groups to make spurious claims about global warming and renewable energy and allowed them to pass themselves off as disinterested parties promoting free markets and limited government.
With news of Keystone and tar sands and coal-crazy China, it's easy to think that renewable energy is going nowhere, but we'd be so wrong. Between 2008 and 2012, the U.S. nearly doubled its renewables capacity.
Since you can't build a coal plant overnight -- they typically take around five years -- there wasn't much the country could do. Well maybe they couldn't ramp up fast, but they must be planning a wave of new coal plants now, right? Nope.