On his radio show, Rush Limbaugh said of the environmental effects following the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Prince William Sound, Alaska, "[N]ature cleaned it up faster than we ever could." However, an NOAA research chemist reportedly said "very little of the oil actually disappeared," while scientists employed by the state and federal governments recently reported that the effects of the oil spill remain.
The New York Times and The Washington Times uncritically reported that the McCain campaign "ridiculed" Sen. Barack Obama for encouraging people to properly inflate their tires to increase fuel efficiency without noting that the practice has been to shown to reduce fuel consumption or that two Republican governors and McCain surrogates have referred to the fuel economy benefits of properly inflated tires.
In reporting the McCain campaign's attack on Sen. Barack Obama for "the $400,000 from big oil contributors" he has received, The New York Times' The Caucus blog did not point out that, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, Sen. John McCain has received approximately $1.3 million from the oil and gas industry, more than triple the amount Obama has received.
On Hannity & Colmes, Newt Gingrich ridiculed Sen. Barack Obama for encouraging people to properly inflate their tires and falsely suggested that that constituted Obama's only "energy strategy." In fact, Obama has proposed a "Plan for a Clean Energy Future," which includes proposals to "invest $150 billion over 10 years in clean energy," "improve energy efficiency 50 percent by 2030," "support next generation biofuels," and "double fuel economy standards within 18 years." And, Gingrich's ridicule aside, the Department of Energy and the EPA, as well as Republican governors Arnold Schwarzenegger and Charlie Crist, have all referred to the fuel economy benefits of properly inflated tires.
Fox news host Gregg Jarrett did not challenge the false assertion by U.S. Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman that "[w]hen we had Katrina and Rita, the two worst hurricanes in at least in recent memory, in '05, some three years ago, there was not one case where we had a -- a situation with oil or gas being spilled in the environment." In fact, according to a 2007 report prepared for the U.S. Minerals Management Service, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita resulted in 124 spills from outer continental shelf structures with a total volume of more than 17,000 barrels of petroleum.
CBS' Chip Reid stated, "[Sen. John] McCain says he now supports increased offshore drilling, as do 73 percent of Americans, because, he says, more oil supplies will bring prices down," and went on to claim, "[Sen. Barack] Obama says offshore drilling harms the environment, and looks to the past, not the future." But Reid provided no indication that Obama has directly rebutted the suggestion that "increased offshore oil drilling ... will bring prices down" by pointing to the conclusion of "most experts, even within the Bush Administration," that doing so would not affect gas prices for many years.
The New York Times reported that "leading Democrats" argue "that allowing additional coastal exploration [for oil] would have no immediate impact on gas prices." But the article did not note that it is not only "leading Democrats" who have pointed out that access to currently off-limit areas would have no immediate impact on prices: The U.S. Department of Energy has estimated that allowing the congressional and executive moratoriums on certain off-shore drilling to expire in 2012 "would not have a significant impact on domestic crude oil and natural gas production or prices before 2030."
On Meet the Press, Tom Brokaw asked Al Gore if, on the subject of renewable energy, "Hillary Clinton reset this debate when she said there should be a summer holiday on the federal gas tax." But Brokaw did not mention that Sen. John McCain also proposed a gas-tax holiday or that one of his top advisers still touts the plan as "the best stimulus package we can have right now."
Sean Hannity falsely suggested that federal areas legally available for leasing by oil companies contain no oil. In fact, federal agencies have estimated that more oil exists on the tens of millions of acres of federal areas currently legally available for drilling than there is in the areas currently off limits to drilling.
In an article citing the newly released Field Poll, The Wall Street Journal reported that "43% of Californians support the idea of drilling for oil or natural gas along the state's coast, compared with 51% who oppose it," without noting that the poll question included the false suggestion that "drill[ing] more oil and gas wells in state tidelands" would in fact "deal with the rising cost of energy" in the near future.
On Bill O'Reilly's radio show, financial commentator Jonathan Hoenig said: "[I]f there's bad guys out there, Bill, and you alluded to Iran and whatnot -- let's deal with them militarily. You know, we didn't win -- win World War II by cutting back on German sausages." Hoenig has previously advocated military strikes on Iran and North Korea in appearances on Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto.
The Washington Post ran an article under the headline "Offshore Drilling Backed as Remedy for Oil Prices," but the article itself noted that "the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration [EIA] said that .... 'Because oil prices are determined on the international market, however, any impact on average wellhead prices is expected to be insignificant.' " The article also noted that the EIA said that "access to the Pacific, Atlantic, and eastern Gulf regions would not have a significant impact on domestic crude oil and natural gas production or prices before 2030."
On Fox & Friends, Mike Huckabee falsely asserted, "When Katrina, a Cat-5 hurricane, hit the Gulf Coast, not one drop of oil was spilled off of those rigs out in the Gulf of Mexico." In fact, according to a report prepared for the federal government by an international consulting firm, damages related to Hurricane Katrina resulted in 70 spills from outer continental shelf structures with a total volume of approximately 5,552* barrels of oil and petroleum products.
On MSNBC Live, anchor Chris Jansing discussed Sen. John McCain's energy policy with former Sen. Trent Lott but failed to disclose that Lott is now a lobbyist for major energy companies. Earlier this month, Andrea Mitchell discussed energy policy with Lott and Sen. John Breaux on MSNBC Live but failed to disclose that both are lobbyists for oil and gas companies.
On Hannity & Colmes, Sean Hannity criticized the purchase of credits to offset one's "carbon footprint," asserting, "Those offsets -- that is the biggest hoax in the world. ... You know what it's like? You go cheat on your wife, and then say, 'Honey, but don't worry. I bought an offset.' Good luck." Hannity has yet to address the pledge by News Corp. chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch "to be carbon neutral, across all our businesses" -- which includes Fox News -- "by 2010."