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Koch-Funded Electric Car Video Debunked Again and Again
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 Whitney E. Akers
- "The Game Changers" is a new documentary on Netflix that posits a vegan diet can improve athletic performance in professional athletes.
- Limited studies available show that the type of diet — plant-based or omnivorous — doesn't give you an athletic advantage.
- We talked to experts about what diet is the best for athletic performance.
Packed with record-setting athletes displaying cut physiques and explosive power, "The Game Changers," a new documentary on Netflix, has a clear message: Vegan is best.
By John R. Platt
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By Bijal Trivedi
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report on Nov. 13 that describes a list of microorganisms that have become resistant to antibiotics and pose a serious threat to public health. Each year these so-called superbugs cause more than 2.8 million infections in the U.S. and kill more than 35,000 people.
By Joe Vukovich
Under the guise of responding to consumer complaints that today's energy- and water-efficient dishwashers take too long, the Department of Energy has proposed creating a new class of dishwashers that wouldn't be subject to any water or energy efficiency standards at all. The move would not only undermine three decades of progress for consumers and the environment, it is based on serious distortions of fact regarding today's dishwashers.