MSNBC host Chris Hayes blasted Fox News and right-wing media for falsely blaming wind turbines as the root cause of the debilitating power outages plaguing Texas, accusing “these charlatans” on Tuesday of pushing “painful culture war idiocy” in an effort to demonize clean energy.
With much of Texas steeped in darkness as historic winter storms rage, the demand for electricity has skyrocketed, and right-wing media have assigned the lion’s share of the blame to the state’s wind farms. Pointing to images of frozen wind turbines, Fox News has tied Joe Biden’s push for green energy to the catastrophe in Texas, even though the state gets the vast majority of its energy from fossil fuels.
Kicking off his primetime MSNBC program by recapping the devastation in the Lone Star State, Hayes noted that over four million Texans were stuck without power amid freezing temperatures on Tuesday.
He then turned his attention to those looking to exploit the issue for political gain.
“This is an awful situation. It’s driven by a complex confluence of factors, from extreme weather to an electric infrastructure that’s been woefully underdeveloped to the idiosyncrasies of Texas’ aggressively deregulated and independent energy market,” he noted.
“But, of course, Fox News and other Republicans saw some kind of suffering, some kind of problem somewhere and immediately—without missing a beat—right away tried to turn it into a culture war, in this case against those damn hippie liberals and their clean energy,” the progressive MSNBC host added.
Playing a montage of Fox stars solely blaming the deadly outages on windmills while asserting wind power doesn’t work in subfreezing temperatures, Hayes pointed out how utterly senseless those claims were.
“Imagine how stupid you would have to think your audience is, the contempt you have to hold them in, to look into the camera and try to sell them on the idea that windmills don’t work when it’s cold,” he exclaimed. “After Texas, Iowa is the state with the most wind power in the country. If you’ve ever been to Iowa in the winter, I can tell you from personal experience, it gets pretty cold in Iowa.”
Adding that Denmark, a country with very cold winters, receives half its power from wind, the All In host then quoted the senior director of Texas’ Electric Reliability Council, who said earlier on Tuesday that ice forcing some wind turbines to shut down was the “least significant factor” in the Texas blackouts.
“It is just a lie that wind turbines, green energy, are the root causes of the problems in Texas right now,” Hayes declared, comparing the claim to the “Big Lie” that the election was “stolen” from former President Donald Trump.
“Let’s be clear, this is probably as consequential a lie as any about the election because energy and how we produce it is the single biggest issue this country will face in the medium term,” he continued.
Observing that power grids are “complicated” and “arcane stuff,” Hayes said that every now and then a disaster occurs that reminds us that the grid is the “foundation of modern civilization—and it is also the key to overcoming climate change.”
“Republicans and right-wing media, they want to take every policy issue and turn it into some painful culture war idiocy,” Hayes stated. “And there’s an interest to do it. The fossil fuel companies want this too. They want to turn into a culture war, like the libs don’t want you to have power.”
While saying that there’s no reason why we can’t “create a modern energy infrastructure that is more resilient to climate change and also cheaper and also serves people better,” Hayes concluded that the “biggest obstacle will be these charlatans who will take every opportunity to lie to people for profit and for power.”