Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013
Free Will Astrology

Free Will Astrology

Astrology: ARIES (March 21-April 19): In the coming weeks it will be important for you to bestow blessings and disseminate gifts and dole out helpful... By Rob Brezsny 8/27/2014
Savage Love: Working Out the Kinks

Savage Love: Working Out the Kinks

Arts & Culture: My boyfriend of two years cannot climax or maintain an erection unless his testicles are handled, squeezed, pulled, or pressed on... By Dan Savage 8/27/2014
How Rebates Have the Texas Film Industry Playing Catch Up To its Neighbors

How Rebates Have the Texas Film Industry Playing Catch Up To its Neighbors

Screens: See if you can spot the common thread that is pulling at the seams of the Texas film industry. On NBC’s The Night Shift, a stock-written staff... By Matt Stieb 8/27/2014
Best Hookah Bar

Best Hookah Bar

Best of SA 2013: 4/24/2013

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email


Newsmonger: CNN's solar hit job, 'Gloves are off' in judge race

Photo: , License: N/A

Julián "The Real Deal" Castro was a subject of the stellar journalism (and fact-checking) of CNN.

Photo: N/A, License: N/A

CNN's solar hit job

There was more confusion than worry when CNN producers began sniffing around San Antonio's historic 400 kilowatt power-purchase agreement between CPS Energy and South Korea-based OCI Solar Power three weeks ago. First heralded in January, CPS and OCI signed the deal this July, sealing the country's largest-ever solar project by a city-owned utility. Why the sudden interest, CNN?

Under the 25-year deal OCI will open a plant to manufacture solar panels and components, creating an estimated 800 permanent jobs with salaries of about $47,000 — a $100 million local investment scoring an annual payroll of about $40 million, CPS claims. By moving OCI's North American headquarters here from Atlanta, the city also hopes OCI can boost production beyond San Antonio's needs, selling solar to the North and South American markets.

But CNN wasn't interested in those details. In fact, it flat-out ignored them when it aired its 7-minute hit-job Friday night, headlined, "Rising Democratic star Mayor Julián Castro backs a deal that sends millions abroad." The crux of the story: Castro helped outsource San Antonio's solar dreams to South Korea, sending hundreds of millions of dollars overseas. CNN reporter Ted Rowlands went on to speculate CPS could have partnered with U.S. firms with more experience, and even hinted that Castro's October 2011 trips to South Korea and to a White House state dinner hosting the South Korean president were suspect.

"[CNN] seemed less interested in the terms of the agreement than in how the Mayor had been involved," said CPS spokeswoman Lisa Lewis, who was interviewed for the segment. "It's not the first time I've dealt with a reporter that had already made up their mind and just needed a quote to fill a hole."

CNN's Chicago bureau, where Rowlands is stationed, would not comment on the story by the Current's press deadline, but the story cites "multiple sources familiar with the bids" claiming OCI offered to sell solar to CPS for 11 cents per kilowatt-hour, while another consortium of U.S. companies offered a rate of 9.8-cents per kilowatt-hour. Yet, price per kilowatt-hour isn't everything, Lewis said, adding that other external costs impact the attractiveness of a bid, like the price of land for solar farms or the location of the manufacturing site. Lewis also said it's extremely unlikely anyone had access to pricing info for multiple companies that submitted bids — bids that were blind during the staff evaluation process. The details of each company's proposal are protected under confidentiality agreements, Lewis said. "This is the best company for San Antonio," she said. "The deal is right for the community. We're very pleased with the result."

CNN producers first contacted Castro spokesman Jaime Castillo three weeks ago. At first, Castillo got the impression CNN was interested in the nuts and bolts of the solar project. Then emails from CNN got more urgent and aggressive, he said. Castro couldn't be reached for comment.

Recently in News
  • Texas Law Leaves Abortion Out of Reach for Many Women Texas’ sweeping abortion law has already eliminated all abortion clinics south of San Antonio, and the last clinic west of the city... | 8/27/2014
  • Cityscrapes: A race to the convention floor “Conventions go to the city which exerts the greatest efforts to secure them. San Antonio can get any convention that it goes after.” That was the position... | 8/27/2014
  • Mayoral Horserace Once elected next spring, San Antonio’s new mayor will have just a few months to prepare for the 2016 budget... | 8/27/2014
We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus