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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
“[Censored] should be affixed to the bulletin boards in every newsroom in America. And, perhaps read aloud to a few publishers and television executives.” —Ralph Nader
“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
“One of the most significant media research projects in the country.” —I. F. Stone
“Project Censored brings to light some of the most important stories of the year that you never saw or heard about. This is your chance to find out what got buried.” –Diane Ravitch, author of The Death and Life of the Great American School System.
“Activist groups like Project Censored . . . are helping to build the media democracy movement. We have to challenge the powers that be and rebuild media from the bottom up.” —Amy Goodman
“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
“Project Censored shines a spotlight on news that an informed public must have . . . a vital contribution to our democratic process.” —Rhoda H. Karpatkin, president, Consumer’s Union
“At a time when the need for independent journalism and for media outlets unaffiliated with and untainted by the government and corporate sponsors is greater than ever, Project Censored has created a context for reporting the complete truths in all matters that matter. . . . It is therefore left to us to find sources for information we can trust. . . . It is in this task that we are fortunate to have an ally like Project Cen-sored.” —Dahr Jamail
“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.)
“Most journalists in the United States believe the press here is free. That grand illusion only helps obscure the fact that, by and large, the US corporate press does not report what’s really going on, while tuning out, or laughing off, all those who try to do just that. Americans–now more than ever–need those outlets that do labor to report some truth. Project Censored is not just among the bravest, smartest, and most rigorous of those outlets, but the only one that’s wholly focused on those stories that the corporate press ignores, downplays, and/or distorts. This latest book is therefore a must read for anyone who cares about this country, its tottering economy, and–most important– what’s now left of its democracy.” –Mark Crispin Miller, author, professor of media ecology, New York University.
Buy it, read it, act on it. Our future depends on the knowledge this col-lection of suppressed stories allows us.” —San Diego Review
“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.
“Hot news, cold truths, utterly uncensored.” —Greg Palast
“Those who read and support Project Censored are in the know.” —Cynthia McKinney
“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
“For ages, I’ve dreamed of a United States where Project Censored isn’t necessary, where these crucial stories and defining issues are on the front page of the New York Times, the cover of Time, and in heavy rotation on CNN. That world still doesn’t exist, but we always have Project Censored’s yearly book to pull together the most important things the corporate media ignored, missed, or botched.” –Russ Kick, author of You Are Being Lied To, Everything You Know Is Wrong, and the New York Times bestselling series The Graphic Canon.
“Project Censored is one of the organizations that we should listen to, to be assured that our newspapers and our broadcasting outlets are practicing thorough and ethical journalism.” —Walter Cronkite

24. India’s Solar Plans Blocked by US Interests, WTO

The United Nations Conference on Climate Change, held in December 2015 in Paris, featured lofty rhetoric about international cooperation to tackle climate change, including overtures by the US and other nations to include India. Anticipating the Paris summit, World Trade Organization (WTO) director-general Roberto Azevêdo wrote, “The challenge is not to stop trading but to ensure that trade is an ally in the fight against climate change.” However, in February 2016, the WTO ruled against India’s Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission. In a case initiated by the US in 2013, the WTO found that India’s solar initiative, which required that 10 percent of solar cells be produced locally, violated international trade laws. As Dipti Bhatnagar and Sam Cossar-Gilbert of Friends of the Earth International reported in the Ecologist, “The WTO ruling sets a dangerous precedent for countries wanting to support homegrown renewable energy initiatives.”

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh launched India’s National Solar Mission in 2010. Ben Beachy and Ilana Solomon described how the National Solar Mission aimed to develop long-term policy, research and development, and domestic production to reduce the cost of solar power generation in India and, ultimately, to increase India’s solar capacity to 100,000 megawatts by 2022—a target that would surpass the combined current solar capacity of the world’s top five solar-producing countries. By the time of the WTO ruling, the National Solar Mission had already increased India’s solar capacity from “nearly nothing” to 5,000 megawatts, Beachy and Solomon reported.

However, US Trade Representative Michael Froman claimed that India’s subsidized solar program discriminated against American suppliers, arguing that India’s solar plan created unfair barriers to imports of US-made solar panels. Even though India had argued that the program helped it to meet its commitments under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the WTO ruling stated that domestic policies in conflict with its rules could not be justified on the basis that they fulfill international climate commitments. As Beachy and Solomon summarized, “antiquated trade rules trump climate imperatives.”

On the WTO ruling against India, Froman described the decision as “important” for the message it sent “to other countries considering discriminatory ‘localization’ policies.” But, Beachy and Solomon noted, the US position was “perverse” because “nearly half of U.S. states have renewable energy programs that, like India’s solar program, include ‘buy-local’ rules that create local, green jobs and bring new solar entrepreneurs into the economy.”

This was not the first time the US appealed to the WTO to challenge another nation’s domestic climate initiatives. A similar program in Canada, Ontario’s Green Energy Act, sought to boost renewable technologies and create clean-energy jobs. Spurred by the US, in 2012 the WTO ruled against the program, which had to be modified to comply with WTO rules.

In February 2016, Forbes ran an opinion piece clearly in favor of the WTO ruling (and free trade in general), while a September 2015 article in the Wall Street Journal provided coverage of India’s position, but noting opportunities for foreign companies if the WTO ruled against India’s requirement that some solar panels should be produced domestically. A Reuters report on the WTO ruling emphasized the US perspective and provided little detail about India’s solar program—accounted for by the claim that “Indian officials were not immediately available to comment,” despite basic information about its solar program having been previously available in a variety of public forums.

Ben Beachy and Ilana Solomon, “The WTO Just Ruled against India’s Booming Solar Program,” Sierra Club, February 24, 2016,

Dipti Bhatnagar and Sam Cossar-Gilbert, “World Trade Organisation Smashes India’s Solar Panels Industry,” Ecologist, February 28, 2016,

Charles Pierson, “How the US and the WTO Crushed India’s Subsidies for Solar Energy,” CounterPunch, August 28, 2015,

Student Researcher: Jillian Solomon (San Francisco State University)

Faculty Evaluator: Kenn Burrows (San Francisco State University)

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