Rush Limbaugh claimed that smart meters give "the government the power to wirelessly control your heat, your air conditioning, your water flow, your electricity all from the cozy central office." In fact, smart meters simply collect information on energy use for the benefit of consumers and utility companies; governments do not receive this information and have "neither the authority nor the capability to control consumers' heat, air conditioning or other in-home appliances," according to a major electric and gas utility consulted by Media Matters.
Andrew Napolitano claimed that increased oil drilling "would lower the price of gasoline tomorrow." In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy and PolitiFact agree that increased access to offshore oil drilling would not have a significant effect on gasoline prices.
Fox News figures have dismissed concerns that speculators are helping to fuel increases in the cost of oil, instead using those higher costs to push for increased oil drilling. But speculators currently hold record bets on oil futures, and experts have said those bets are driving up the cost of oil.
In at least six instances over the past three months, Fox's Eric Bolling has claimed that President Bush's July 2008 decision to lift the presidential moratorium on offshore drilling caused oil prices to drop from "$147 straight down to $33 a barrel in six months." Energy experts tell Media Matters that Bolling's analysis is wrong.
Bill O'Reilly pushed speculation that President Obama may be conspiring to keep the price of oil high in order to receive more federal revenue from "taxes at the pump." In fact, the federal fuel tax is assessed at a per-gallon rate regardless of the price at the pump.
Conservative media have promoted efforts to repeal provisions of the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act, claiming that the law banned incandescent light bulbs and that Americans will no longer have choice over their light bulb purchases. In fact, the bill simply restricts the sale of inefficient bulbs and has lead companies to develop numerous alternatives, including energy-efficient incandescents.
Steve Forbes falsely claimed that the Environmental Protection Agency is "now regulating milk spills as part of an oil spill program," to which Fox Business host Stuart Varney replied, "That is true as a matter of fact." In fact, EPA has already said it will "exclude milk and milk product storage tanks from the spill prevention regulatory program."
A post on the conservative blog Big Peace falsely claimed that President Obama is "making us more dependent on foreign oil." However, statistics from the U.S. Energy Information Administration show that imports have declined faster than domestic production in the past several years, and current projections show that our dependence on foreign oil will continue to decrease through 2035.
From the February 26 edition of Fox News' Cavuto on Business:
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From the February 15 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show:
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From C-SPAN's February 10 coverage of CPAC 2011:
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The co-hosts of Fox & Friends and their guest, Fox Business host Stuart Varney, falsely suggested that domestic oil drilling could prevent gas prices from rising. In fact, economists and experts, including some in the Bush administration Energy Department, have admitted that offshore drilling would not substantially affect oil prices in the near future.
A February 8 post on Andrew Breitbart's blog Big Government claims that "[t]he enviros" have "succeeded with the outlawing of the lowly [incandescent] light bulb." The post also falsely suggests that consumers will be forced to buy compact flourescent lightbulbs (CFLs) instead. As Media Matters has previously documented, the incandescent light bulb will not be "outlaw[ed]" -- under the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, signed by then-President Bush, only inefficient models will be phased out. From the Big Government post, titled, "Who Shut Off the Lights? Bring Back the Incandescent Lightbulb":
The enviros have succeeded in destroying both the environment and jobs with their radical legislative successes. First, it was their complete stranglehold on our nation's energy policy: no new nuclear plants, a complete ban on exploring for natural gas domestically or for drilling for oil near our coasts. This forced us into the more hazardous and more expensive deep water drilling. This time they've succeeded with the outlawing of the lowly light bulb. The incandescent light bulb, the one Thomas Alva Edison invented in 1879, will be put to death in the US due to federal energy regulations. A law passed quietly in 2007 will be phased in next year with the final sales of incandescents occurring in 2014. Don't blame Obama, this was done under George W. Bush's watch.
The liberals, who always cry for "choice", don't want to give the American consumer choice in choosing light bulbs. They're apparently only pro-choice with baby killing. Otherwise, they will tell you just how to live your life, thank you. The banning of the incandescent light bulb meant that General Electric, the largest maker of light bulbs, had to close all their plants in the US. The last factory closed in Winchester, VA. in September of last year. The jobs are now all in China. They're the largest makers of the compact fluorescent bulbs, CFLs. They're not made here, in part, because they're too hazardous. [Big Government, 2/8/11]
Fox's purported business expert Eric Bolling routinely advances falsehoods about climate change, airing views and hosting guests that reinforce skeptics' claims that global warming "is just a big scam." Bolling, "once one of the biggest individual traders of oil and energy futures," also regularly pushes offshore drilling on-air.
Fox Nation today posted an article from Alex Jones' PrisonPlanet.com website, entitled "Obama's Blocking of New Power Plants Triggers Nationwide Blackouts?"
As Kate Galbraith reported yesterday in the Texas Tribune, the rolling blackouts throughout Texas earlier this week were primarily caused by problems with the power plants from the extremely cold weather -- not a government conspiracy:
Initially, it appears, some coal plants went offline due to cold-weather problems, taking a large chunk of electricity out of the grid. Luminant, a major power-generation company, confirmed that its two coal units at the Oak Grove plant in Robertson County failed, as did two units at a coal plant in Milam County. "We are in various stages of start-up and operation for that group," Allan Koenig, a Luminant spokesman, said via e-mail. Three of these four units only began operating in the last few years; Fraser, who chairs the Senate Committee on Natural Resources, noted that they had new emissions-control technologies, and said one question was how those technologies had handled the cold.
Dave Knox, a spokesman for NRG, another power company, said that a cold-weather problem also caused a shut-down of its Limestone coal plant near Jewitt, Texas. The problem occurred yesterday, albeit after the early-morning crisis, and the plant returned to operating early this morning.
Natural gas plants were hastily turned on to make up for the coal-plant failures. But, Fraser said, some power cuts affected some stations for compressing natural gas -- so without power they couldn't pump gas, causing some gas power plants to go offline. In addition, rules regarding "curtailment" of natural gas -- who gets first dibs on gas when gas supplies are tight -- were last revised in 1972, Fraser said, leaving some power plants at risk of losing out on supplies.
Fox Nation is just the latest Fox entity to mainstream Jones. Fox Business host Andrew Napolitano previously revealed himself as a 9-11 Truther on Alex Jones' radio show in November 2010. Napolitano has long been friendly with Alex Jones during his employment with Fox. Alex Jones himself is best known for his wild conspiracy theories, and was cited as an inspiration by alleged would-be assassin Byron Williams last year.