Fox News contributor Newt Gingrich recently falsely accused the Obama administration of "waging a war on American energy." In fact, the Obama administration has invested in domestic energy production and has made historic efforts to reduce American dependence on foreign oil.
In a January 18 editorial, The Washington Times wrote that "[i]n recent months, [gas] costs have climbed steadily through $3 and are headed toward four bucks per gallon." The Times blamed President Obama and his policies for the increase in costs, claiming, "Americans have President Obama and his anti-energy apparatchiks to thank for this gouging."
In fact, as Media Matters has noted, experts have pointed to expectations of increased demand and other factors to account for the increase in gas and oil prices.
From The Washington Times:
Drivers are getting dizzy at the pump. That sick feeling is deja vu from 2008, when prices spiraled higher with every fill-up. In recent months, costs have climbed steadily through $3 and are headed toward four bucks per gallon. Americans have President Obama and his anti-energy apparatchiks to thank for this gouging.
The cost of crude oil neared $100 a barrel last week for the first time since the global recession knocked it down from a stratospheric $147 a barrel in 2008 to $40 in 2009. Gas now is selling for an average of $3.09 a gallon nationwide, 12 percent higher than a year ago and up 4 percent in the last month. The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported last week that forecast uncertainties could mean that Americans end up paying $3.50 a gallon during the summer, and $4 is possible.
Instead of defending American interests, Mr. Obama's team has taken every opportunity to disrupt the nation's own oil-production capabilities. Upon taking office, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar immediately canceled 77 existing oil- and gas-drilling leases in Utah, and a year later killed an additional 61 leases. He moved quickly to obstruct offshore drilling by extending by six months the public comment period on the resumption of drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf.
From the January 14 edition of Fox News Channel's Hannity:
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A recent Big Government post falsely claimed that General Motors' recently launched green initiative is a result of "leftists tak[ing] over" the company and is being funded by the taxpayers. In fact, Chevrolet's greening effort was launched voluntarily, and is not funded by taxpayer money.
On his Fox News show, Neil Cavuto hosted Chris Horner of the Competitive Enterprise Institute to argue against the effectiveness of federal subsidies for the solar industry and claim that there would be no solar industry but for these subsidies. In fact, solar energy receives significantly fewer subsidies than fossil fuels and nuclear energy.
Just days ago, Media Matters published internal e-mails showing Fox News' managing editor Bill Sammon instructing the network's reporters to cast doubt on climate science. Despite the exposure of this blatant attempt to slant Fox's coverage of issues related to climate change, Fox's assault on environmental regulations aimed at mitigating the effects of carbon emissions continues unabated.
On today's edition of Your World with Neil Cavuto, guest-host Brian Sullivan welcomed Chris Horner of the right-wing Competitive Enterprise Institute to discuss a pending lawsuit launched against the EPA by American automakers. Horner, a longtime dispenser of climate change misinformation, attacked the EPA for a recent ruling that would allow gasoline to contain up to 15 percent ethanol (up from 10 percent), claiming that the blended gas would destroy the engines of cars, lawnmowers, and "all those vehicles that you'll see on Sarah Palin's Alaska that nobody in the administration sees or wants to see."
Horner repeatedly refers to the ethanol mix as "moonshine" that will wreak havoc on a wide variety of engines used by Americans every day. Horner doesn't, however, have very much faith in the American consumer. He contends that the lure of cheaper E15 gasoline will lead unsuspecting consumers to fuel up with what will eventually erode their fuel lines. Horner goes so far as to claim that this will lead to "people putting gasoline in four fifths of the engines on the road that are not designed for it," which will eventually damage their engines and accomplish what he purports to be the Administration's purported "goal" of taking the "larger, more safe, more comfortable vehicles" off the road.
However, neither Horner nor Sullivan acknowledge that the EPA has established specific guidelines in its waiver allowing the use of E15 fuels. While Horner alludes to the fact that E15 is only approved for use in certain vehicles, he ignores the fact that the EPA has outlined specific guidelines which explain that only vehicles built after 2007 should use the fuel. Likewise, Horner makes no note of the warning labels consumers would have to ignore when fueling vehicles that explain that E15 is only for use in certain vehicles and machines.
While the specifics of such a label have not been finalized, the EPA specifically requires that "Labels must be placed on E15 retail dispensers indicating that E15 use is only for MY2007 and newer motor vehicles." The proposed label is bright orange, features the word "CAUTION!" and notes that "Federal law prohibits" the use of E15 in vehicles and engines made before 2007.
So Horner's argument then is that when everyday Americans go to the gas station, they will, in overwhelming numbers, either accidentally or knowingly choose to violate federal law and cause costly and potentially irreparable damage to their engines - all for slightly less expensive gas.
Horner's fearmongering about the impact of ethanol is unsurprising given his employer's close ties to big oil companies, who have an obvious financial interest in ensuring that what consumers buy at the pump contains as much of their product and as little ethanol as possible. CEI has received more than $2 million from ExxonMobil alone in addition to the more than $600,000 it has received from the foundations run by the petroleum magnates, the Koch brothers. In fact, his argument that consumers will either purposefully or mistakenly use ethanol fuel that will damage their vehicles closely mirrors the argument against E15 given by the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association which argues that "misfueling may occur intentionally, due to price differential or a quality perception, or unintentionally, due to consumer confusion or inattention."
In keeping with Fox's method of reporting on environmental issues, Horner's potential conflict of interest posed by his ties to big oil were left unmentioned in the segment.
From the October 12 broadcast of Talk Radio Network's The Savage Nation:
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As Media Matters has documented, the theory that the Obama administration lent $2 billion to Brazil's state-owned oil company Petrobras in order to protect Soros' investment has been pushed by Glenn Beck
From the October 5 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show:
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The Drudge Report links to a story about solar panels being installed at the White House, using a picture of President Jimmy Carter with White House solar panels in an attempt to link the two presidencies:
But before our friends in the right-wing media do the usual and echo Drudge, they should know that long before Obama was even on the national stage President George W. Bush followed in Carter's footsteps and had solar panels installed at the White House (the AP story Drudge links to notes this, but the right wing media often parrots Drudge's distortions without clicking through). From the New York Times, February 27, 2003:
Since September, a grid of 167 solar panels on the roof of a maintenance shed has been delivering electricity to the White House grounds. Another solar installation has been helping to provide hot water. Yet another has been keeping the water warm in the presidential pool.
It's also worth noting that President Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas, utilized "passive-solar" technology, described by the Department of Energy as a way that "[y]our home's windows, walls, and floors can be designed to collect, store, and distribute solar energy in the form of heat in the winter and reject solar heat in the summer."
An oil shale firm that reportedly plans to test drilling technology in western Colorado early next year now has the benefit of Rupert Murdoch's business acumen.
News Corporation founder and CEO Rupert Murdoch has joined the "Strategic Advisory Board" of Genie Energy Corporation and will "advise management on strategic, financial, operational and public policy matters related to Genie's shale oil ventures," including a "joint venture" "to develop oil shale on a federal leasehold in Northwestern Colorado," according to a September 14 press release from IDT Corporation, Genie Energy's parent company.
Genie Energy, according to the press release, "is currently comprised of IDT's interests in IDT Energy, American Shale Oil, LLC (AMSO), and Israel Energy Initiatives (IEI)."
On August 31, the Associated Press reported that American Shale Oil -- "[o]ne of three companies with federal leases to research and develop oil shale in Colorado" -- "said it plans to start testing its technology early next year." The AP noted that companies seeking to develop western Colorado's "abundant oil shale deposits" "are trying to find a way to economically extract the oil from shale, which requires heating it above ground after mining or in the ground," and that "[c]rtics say developing oil shale would consume too much water and harm the environment."
From the July 26 edition of Fox News' Glenn Beck:
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From the July 15 edition of Fox News' Hannity:
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From the July 12 edition of Fox News' Hannity:
On July 9, while discussing the Court of Appeals decision to lift the moratorium on drilling in the Gulf, Fox & Friends displayed this chyron: