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“Those who read and support Project Censored are in the know.” —Cynthia McKinney
“In another home run for Project Censored, Censored 2013 shows how the American public has been bamboozled, snookered, and dumbed down by the corporate media. It is chock-full of ‘ah-ha’ moments where we understand just how we’ve been fleeced by banksters, stripped of our civil liberties, and blindly led down a path of never-ending war.” –Medea Benjamin, author of Drone Warfare, cofounder of Global Exchange and CODEPINK.
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“[Censored] offers devastating evidence of the dumbing-down of main-stream news in America. . . . Required reading for broadcasters, journalists, and well-informed citizens.” —Los Angeles Times
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Buy it, read it, act on it. Our future depends on the knowledge this col-lection of suppressed stories allows us.” —San Diego Review
“Project Censored continues to be an invaluable resource in exposing and highlighting shocking stories that are routinely minimized or ignored by the corporate media. The vital nature of this work is underscored by this year’s NSA leaks. The world needs more brave whistle blowers and independent journalists in the service of reclaiming democracy and challenging the abuse of power. Project Censored stands out for its commitment to such work.” —Deepa Kumar, author of Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire and associate professor of Media Studies and Middle Eastern Studies at Rutgers University
“Project Censored interrogates the present in the same way that Oliver Stone and I tried to interrogate the past in our Untold History of the United States. It not only shines a penetrating light on the American Empire and all its deadly, destructive, and deceitful actions, it does so at a time when the Obama administration is mounting a fierce effort to silence truth-tellers and whistleblowers. Project Censored provides the kind of fearless and honest journalism we so desperately need in these dangerous times.” —Peter Kuznick, professor of history, American University, and coauthor, with Oliver Stone, of The Untold History of the United States
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“Censored 2014 is a clarion call for truth telling. Not only does this volume highlight fearless speech in fateful times, it connect the dots between the key issues we face, lauds our whistleblowers and amplifies their voices, and shines light in the dark places of our government that most need exposure.” –Daniel Ellsberg, The Pentagon Papers
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“The staff of Project Censored presents their annual compilation of the previous year’s 25 stories most overlooked by the mainstream media along with essays about censorship and its consequences. The stories include an 813% rise in hate and anti-government groups since 2008, human rights violations by the US Border Patrol, and Israeli doctors injecting Ethiopian immigrants with birth control without their consent. Other stories focus on the environment, like the effects of fracking and Monsantos GMO seeds. The writers point out misinformation and outright deception in the media, including CNN relegating factual accounts to the “opinion” section and the whitewashing of Margaret Thatcher’s career following her death in 2013, unlike Hugo Chavez, who was routinely disparaged in the coverage following his death. One essay deals with the proliferation of “Junk Food News,” in which “CNN and Fox News devoted more time to ‘Gangnam Style’ than the renewal of Uganda’s ‘Kill the Gays’ law.” Another explains common media manipulation tactics and outlines practices to becoming a more engaged, free-thinking news consumer or even citizen journalist. Rob Williams remarks on Hollywood’s “deep and abiding role as a popular propaganda provider” via Argo and Zero Dark Thirty. An expose on working conditions in Chinese Apple factories is brutal yet essential reading. This book is evident of Project Censored’s profoundly important work in educating readers on current events and the skills needed to be a critical thinker.” -Publisher’s Weekly said about Censored 2014 (Oct.)

11. Solar Power Eclipsed by Oil, Gas and Nuclear Interests

Sources: Multinational Monitor, PO Box 19405 Washington, DC 20036, Date: April 1992, Title: “Solar Eclipsed,” Author: Julie Gozan; The Christian Science Monitor, One Norway Street, Boston, MA 02115, Date: 3/12/92, Title: “Unbind Solar Energy From Washington’s Red Tape,” Author: James Weinstein

 SSU Censored Researcher: Blake Kehler

SYNOPSIS: On November 27, 1991, the California-based solar energy firm Luz In­ternational Limited announced that it had filed for bankruptcy. Luz designed, built and operated the world’s nine largest So­lar Electric Generating Systems (SEGS), which generated 95 percent of the world’s solar electricity.

Luz’s collapse reflects the problems faced by a solar power industry shackled by hostile government policies and the protection of natural gas and oil interests. While the Department of Energy (DOE) claims to be committed to the develop­ment of solar energy, the facts reveal that while the cost of generating solar power has decreased 73 percent from 1980 to 1990, federal research and development (R&D) spending on solar energy has de­creased 90 percent.

Presently, the nuclear industry re­ceives more than 70 percent of the DOE’s funding outlays for technology-specific development. According to the DOE’s R&D budget, the total administration request for nuclear fission and fusion for fiscal 1993 is $1,377 billion, an increase of $100 million from 1992. However, the total request for conservation R&D, renewable energy and state and local conservation, combined, is just $768 million, down $100 million from 1992.

Investigative author Julie Gozan re­ports that if it weren’t for government sub­sidies, nuclear power would be priced out of the market. Gozan notes that while the cost of solar is down to 8 cents per kilowatt hour, the cost of producing nuclear energy is nearly 13 cents per kilowatt hour.

According to an article in the Chris­tian Science Monitor, the next generation of solar plants, which had been planned for construction by Luz in 199495, would have brought costs down to 6 to 6.5 cents per kilowatt hour-less than the cost of natural-gas electric generation.

Government obstacles to safer, cleaner energy go beyond fiscal favors for nuclear power and the oil and gas indus­try. Lawmakers set a cap of 80 megawatts on the amount of energy that a solar plant can generate and sell. Luz, which had the capacity to build SEGS that would gener­ate 200 megawatts, or enough energy to meet the electricity needs of 200,000 homes daily, was forced to build plants below this optimum usage and had to “dump” solar energy rather than use it.

Author Gozan also reports that in or­der to compete with oil and gas, solar power must somehow match hidden gov­ernment subsidies given to conventional fuels. Oil and gas receive the equivalent of a 25 percent tax credit. These include an immediate tax write-off for drilling costs and “percentage depletion” for the cost of pipes, pumps and tanks used to complete a well.

As Luz International Chairman New­ton Becker observed when the company filed for bankruptcy, Luz’s demise was not attributable to technical or economic fail­ure; it was simply the result of our not having a national energy policy. Mean­while, environmentally sound solutions fall victim to money and politics.

 COMMENTS: “In the early Seventies some­one said we wouldn’t have solar power until the oil companies get a monopoly on the sun. Now it appears that this is happen­ing.” That was the lead paragraph to the #9 Censored story synopsis of 1980. It contin­ued, “Within the last five years, a powerful elite of multinational oil companies, aero­space firms, utilities and other large corpo­rations has been quietly buying into the solar industry. The group’s aim appears to be to squeeze out smaller competitors and control development so that alternative energy sources will never threaten its mas­sive investments in fossil fuels and nuclear power.”

Sources for the 1980 nomination were New West, now defunct, and MotherJones. But that was then and this is now. And while the sources for the #11 Censored story of 1992 have changed, the subject matter hasn’t. In fact, the current story bears witness to the prescience of the 1980 nomination. It told how the big boys were buying out the smaller competitors to control the fledgling solar industry; the 1992 story reveals how the big boys finally have forced Luz International Limited, the world’s leading solar energy company, out of business.

Investigative author Julie Gozan re­ported that the plight of the solar industry has received no coverage in the mass media. “Although the Luz bankruptcy was widely reported in newspapers and finan­cial journals,” says Gozan, “these con­tained no analysis of the solar industry and its obstacles.” Gozan believes the public would benefit from greater exposure of this issue. “As the public is exposed to the viability of solar energy as a safe, effective and potentially inexpensive source of en­ergy, more pressure will be placed on the federal government to provide equal in­centives for the solar and other renewable energy industries with those for nuclear and fossil fuels. As solar becomes com­petitive and widely available, the U.S. pub­lic will be able to access alternatives to non-renewable, polluting and dangerous energy sources.

“The nuclear and fossil fuel industries bank on the current lack of public aware­ness of solar and other renewable energy technologies. It is in the interest of those industries to suppress information about safe and clean energy alternatives.”

Investigative author James Weinstein, whose article on solar energy appeared in the Christian Science Monitor, concurs with Gozan on the lack of coverage given this issue. Solar energy receives “little or no attention,” Weinstein states, “or is treated like an exotic or unrealistic alterna­tive, for obvious commercial reasons.”

The public would benefit from wider coverage of the solar issue, Weinstein adds, because “it would accelerate the pace of ultimately unavoidable transfer of energy dependence from oil, coal and nuclear to solar and biomass.”

Unfortunately, however, the news media have been more than cooperative in the suppression of information that would accelerate that transfer. The nation’s leading newspaper, the New York Times, which prides itself for printing “all the news that’s fit to print,” is known for its support of nuclear power. One of the top 25 Censored stories of 1988, “The New York Times: America’s Pro-nuke Newspa­per of Record,” reported an investigation by EXTRA! that revealed the Times’ long­standing pro-nuclear editorial policy.

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