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By Ben Jervey
Just last week, we fact-checked and debunked every line of The Dirty Secrets of Electric Cars, a video produced by Fueling U.S. Forward, a Koch-funded campaign to push fossil fuels. That video represents the group's first public pivot from fossil fuel boosterism to electric vehicle (EV) attacks. More electric vehicle experts are also picking the video apart.
One effort is this video highlighting many of the same falsehoods we wrote about, and which adds key context about some of the video footage. Like, for instance, the fact that the photo that Fueling U.S. Forward claims is a lithium, cobalt or cerium mining operation is actually a copper mine.
Another notable response is on HybridCars.com, where Editor-in-Chief Jeff Cobb has a lengthy and fact-filled take down of the Dirty Secrets video. Cobb wrote:
"If a disinformation and error-filled video co-sponsored by a front group for oil merchants the Koch Brothers has its way, people will want to think twice about 'dirty' electric cars.
Making the rounds by a coordinated effort including sponsored Facebook posts widely disseminated, and being picked up here and there by media, the video decries their toxicity and makes them complicit with the exploitation of children in poor nations.
The product of Fueling U.S. Forward, a pro-fossil fuel advocacy founded August 2016, and presently focusing its message on lower income Americans, the video titled 'Dirty Secrets of Electric Cars' has clean-car advocates on the alert."
Getting into the meat of the video, Cobb explained:
"Regarding the FUSF's [Fueling U.S. Forward] second paragraph, they were able to squeeze in no less than six outright factual inaccuracies.
1) None of the metals in modern electric car batteries are classified as being a human or plant toxicity concern; (2) None are considered particularly rare in occurrence or hard to extract; (3) None are classified as "rare earths;" (4) Lithium is not a rare earth metal; (5) Cobalt is not a rare earth metal; (6) Only cobalt is mined primarily in China and DRC, and the rest of battery metals (which make up the majority of the battery) are extracted elsewhere. And many other countries produce cobalt, including Canada which produces almost the same amount as China. And hand mining only makes up a very small portion of extraction and is already being banned by Apple and others. So the notion that electric cars depend on the mining shown in the video is misleading."
As of July 18, the original Fueling U.S. Forward video has reached more than 1.3 million views on Facebook and it appears that Fueling U.S. Forward is investing in promotion on users' feeds. Since the public launch of Fueling U.S. Forward, the DeSmog project Koch vs Clean has been tracking the group, and revealing its ties to and funding from Koch Industries.
We will continue to track the campaign as more attacks are launched, and will continue to fact-check and share the work of other EV experts who fight back against these deceptive, fact-starved efforts from Fueling U.S. Forward and other parties in the Koch network.
Reposted with permission from our media associate DeSmogBlog.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Elizabeth Henderson
Farmworkers, farmers and their organizations around the country have been singing the same tune for years on the urgent need for immigration reform. That harmony turns to discord as soon as you get down to details on how to get it done, what to include and what compromises you are willing to make. Case in point: the Farm Workforce Modernization Act (H.R. 5038), which passed in the House of Representatives on Dec. 11, 2019, by a vote of 260-165. The Senate received the bill the next day and referred it to the Committee on the Judiciary, where it remains. Two hundred and fifty agriculture and labor groups signed on to the United Farm Workers' (UFW) call for support for H.R. 5038. UFW President Arturo Rodriguez rejoiced:
By Julia Conley
A council representing more than 800,000 doctors across the U.S. signed a letter Friday imploring President Donald Trump to reverse his call for businesses to reopen by April 12, warning that the president's flouting of the guidance of public health experts could jeopardize the health of millions of Americans and throw hospitals into even more chaos as they fight the coronavirus pandemic.
By Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner
Over six gallons of water are required to produce one gallon of wine. "Irrigation, sprays, and frost protection all [used in winemaking] require a lot of water," explained winemaker and sommelier Keith Wallace, who's also a professor and the founder of the Wine School of Philadelphia, the largest independent wine school in the U.S. And water waste is just the start of the climate-ruining inefficiencies commonplace in the wine industry. Sustainably speaking, climate change could be problematic for your favorite glass of wine.
By Jeff Turrentine
From day to day, our public health infrastructure — the people and systems we've put in place to keep populations, as opposed to individuals, healthy — largely goes unnoticed. That's because when it's working well, its success takes the form of utter normalcy.