Reading Time: 8 minutes

CNN vs. Fox News

Intro

For this project, I am doing a research paper to see how CNN and Fox  News talk about renewable energy. I decided to go with this approach because I think that it most fits my creative ability. While I would like to make a video I have no clue what I would do for a video and think that this will be the best way for me to advocate through education about the media. I want to know if Fox News and CNN use different words when talking about renewable energy. Is one more positive than the other? Is one more economically based than environmentally based? I think that it is important to know that anything you read can make you think what they want you to think, and I think that knowing this difference in a topic such as renewable energy is important.

           To do this I found a few different sources from both Fox News and CNN regarding renewable energy. In these articles, I looked for how they were talking about renewable energy and then I compared what I found. In each source, I found a couple of sentences or ideas that stuck out to me. I will then explain what I think the author wanted the reader to think and also why I think it was included in the article.

 

CNN

           CNN is a liberal news source. This means that it is values are more in line with the democratic party. Because of this, I think that the articles that I found will be more in favor of making a switch to renewable energy because it will be beneficial for the environment. I found four different articles from CNN that I decided to look into.

The first article was written by Matt Egan and is titled “Clean energy is coming. What’s Exxon waiting for?”. In this article it starts by talking about in Europe the main oil companies have started to switch to solar, wind, and electronic storage while the United States is focusing on oil still. He is concerned that if the electric revolution happens quicker than expect the US could get left behind. The article says that “Electric vehicles pose a long-term threat to the [oil] industry’s business model”. This is because it predicted by BP that there will be 328 million more electric cars on the road worldwide from 2016 to 2040. I think that this is an interesting thing to put into the article because it makes the reader think that cars that use gas will be irrelevant by 2040. While it looks like that if you think about the total number of cars in the world that number is still less than half. This information makes the fact that Exon and other US oil companies aren’t focusing on making the switch which helps enhance his argument.

The article goes on to talk about the reason that US oil companies are not investing in other energy sources. The main reason is money. The article says that “Rather than worry about renewables, American oil companies are focused on capitalizing on the lucrative shale boom at home”. This is the thought that many of these oil companies have because the oil demand is projected to continue to rise until 2030 or 2040. This means that for the next 10-20 years oil companies will continue to make more and more money making a switch to renewable energy a bigger risk. Many people think that in the next five to ten years oil companies will start to change their gas stations into charging stations to fit need for the electric cars. I think this quote was used because it makes the reader think about the intentions of the US oil companies and if they have the best in mind for the world or themselves. And for me it makes me think that Big Oil is the only thing about Big Oil.

The next article I found was by John Defterios, “Britain is undergoing an energy transition as it aims for net zero emissions”. This article starts by talking about in June of 2020 Britain declared that they would be Carbon neutral by 2050. It talks about how by Britain doing this other countries have followed along with the same timeline which leads to the European Union to fund 1 trillion dollars over the next ten years to help reach this goal. The article talks about how the majority of Britain uses fossil fuels or mainly natural gases. The fact that a majority of their power is not coming from coal but natural gases are better but, “burning hydrocarbons increases carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, which contributes to climate change”.  This information was used to make the reader think about whether or not natural gas is the best form of energy. It says right before this quote that natural gas is better than coal but then goes on to say that it is still leading to climate change. This quote was included to make the reader worried about climate change and that is why it was included. The author wants the reader to be somewhat concerned and want to make a change because of that.   

The article then goes on to talk about even before this declaration Britain was already working on using less coal and becoming a cleaner country. “In the third quarter of 2019, renewables generated more electricity than fossil fuels, followed by nuclear power”.  This quote is used to show the reader that Britain is committed to this and has been even before they declared they would be Carbon neutral by 2050. I think that this is a really good quote because it shows that everything that was said in the article is not just made up. It has a backbone that it is standing on and is on the right path to doing what they said. This line was pulled right after another stat about for the first time in over 100 years Britain generated two weeks’ worth of electricity without burning coal. I think these were included to show that Britain is on the right path and the rest of the world can learn from them and begin to adapt some of the things they are doing to become more renewable energy reliable.

The final CNN article that I am going to dive into was written by Sherisse Pham and Matt Rivers. The article is “China is crushing the U.S. in renewable energy”. This article starts by saying, “As the Trump administration yanks the U.S. out of the Paris climate change agreement, claiming it will hurt the American economy, Beijing is investing hundreds of billions of dollars and creating millions of jobs in clean power”. This quote is used to make the reader think that the Trump administration looks bad for choosing the US economy over the environment while one of the world’s biggest polluters is focusing on cleaning up the environment. This quote shows that in the author’s eyes if the Trump administration stayed in the Paris agreement then he would have been able to make new jobs in the United States which would help the economy as well. I think this quote was used because it shows that President Trump doesn’t care about the environment, only the US economy.

The article then goes on to talk about how the workforce of China is beginning to shift from coal to renewable energy. “While President Trump promises to put American coal miners back to work, China is moving in the opposite direction”. This quote is used to show the reader that  China is doing more for the environment than the Trump administration. The authors are not happy with how the president is handling issues involving climate change and are using one of the world’s largest contributors to contrast him. I think that this is an effective way to write because many people reading this article will agree and then want to try and do something to promote change.

 

Fox News

           Fox is a conservative news source so their values are similar to the republican party. I think that because of that these articles will be more against renewable energy and if they do want to switch it will be for economic reasons, rather than environmental reasons.

The first article is written by Frank Miles. “Chuck DeVore: Texas town’s renewable energy experiment failure proves Green New Deal unworkable” talks about the “Green New Deal” in Texas collapsing. “the idea was to save money — “the Republican thing to do” — by switching the town to electricity from wind and solar power”. This quote is used to make the reader question the cost of natural gas. This quote shows that Chuck Devore thinks that the main reason the town switched to solar and wind energy was that it would save them money. The author included this to show that Republicans have a bigger concern with money then they do the environment.

This switch did not work however and the town is paying for it now. The article goes on to talk about why the town failed to switch to renewable energy. “The prices of natural gas went down because we found more of it, and the problem with wind power is that it’s mainly made at night and very expensive to store it. … During the daytime, they have to buy power off the grid”. I think this quote was included to show the reader that renewable energy is not as easy to collect as people think. This was included because it talks about some of the downsides of renewable energy, like the fact that wind energy is not always being collected and the fact that it is expensive to store.

The next article I found was by Justin Haskins, “Despite coronavirus deceptions, China would gain more power under Dems’ energy policies”. This article starts by saying that the biggest threat to the United States civilians is not Russia, but China. It goes on to say that he believes that the US is too dependent on China and how he thinks that should change. Then he starts talking about the democratic party is focusing on renewable energy rather than making the US less dependent con China. “Although many people think of windmills and solar facilities as local energy sources, the truth is that neither source of energy can operate without natural resources…” This quote is used to show the reader that renewable energy is hard to make without other nonrenewable sources. The author wants the reader to think that renewable energy is not going to happen on its own.

This article is anti-renewable energy because the author is worried about the control that china has and will gain. Justin Haskins says that if the United States was part of the Green New Deal “more than 70 percent of the rare earth minerals needed to operate renewable wind and solar facilities are mined in China or by companies under Chinese control”. Justin Haskins wants the reader to be worried that the economy of China would gain too much control making them the biggest powerhouse in the world. He included this quote because it shows just how much control china will own a majority of the world’s resources to make the switch to a greener world.

The final Fox News article I found is “Clean-energy supporters should support nuclear power” by Jay Faison. He begins by talking about how the world is making the switch to a Low Carbon Future. He believes that to make the switch that nuclear power should be used to make it cheaper and more likely to happen. He is pushing for “clean energy” not necessarily renewable energy.  “Bernie Sanders and other Democrats want to take down 55 percent of our clean energy by decommissioning all nuclear power plants by 2030? That means replacing $60 billion of always-on power with intermittent renewables”. Jay Faison wants the reader to see how much energy will be lost if there is no nuclear energy. He included this in the article because it helps put into perspective how much it would cost if there was no nuclear energy.

The article continues to talk about making the switch to only renewable energy will be expensive. “Democrats say that wind and solar power are cheaper than other forms of energy, but they aren’t counting the cost of backup power.” This quote is used to make the reader think about how much renewable energy is when the source isn’t producing any energy. The author wants us to think about the amount of money that is being spent when the wind is not blowing and the sun is not out. The author puts into other terms by describing this as getting a bike to save money but accounting for the days you cannot ride to work and have to uber. I think he uses this point to show that the idea is good but there needs to be another source of energy that helps the renewables.

 

Conclusion

           I think these articles were a good source for this project. I think that they all talked about different parts of renewable energy and brought up lots of pros and cons. I think that I was correct in what I thought I would find in the different news sources. I think that the CNN articles were all rooted around the idea that making a switch will help slow or limit climate change, while the Fox News articles were more about money and the economy. I think that this makes sense because those are the views and ideas of the people who are going to be reading the articles on the sites. I think that this is good information for people to know because it is important to know what an article is focused on and trying to get you to think about.