The Oklahoman Uses Oil And Gas Sources To Make Case For Energy Independence

Over the weekend, The Oklahoman introduced the first installment of a two-part series on “energy independence” that overwhelmingly focused on the oil and gas industry while failing to note its harmful effects on both the environment and public health. The reliance on oil industry sources is unsurprising given that the paper is owned by billionaire oil and gas tycoon Philip Anschutz.

The Oklahoman Cited Oil And Gas Sources 43 Percent Of The Time

Representatives Of The Oil And Gas Industry Made Up 43 Percent Of All Sources Compared To 7 Percent For Green Energy Sources. From a Media Matters analysis of the first part of the series on “energy independence”:

[The Oklahoman, 10/1/12]

The Oklahoman Only Devoted 9 Percent Of Its Coverage To The Dangers Surrounding The Extraction And Use Of Oil And Gas

The Oklahoman Spent Only 330 Of 3,666 Words -- Or 9 Percent Of Its Coverage -- Discussing The Dangers Of Oil And Gas. From a Media Matters analysis of the first part of the series on “energy independence”:

[The Oklahoman, 10/1/12]

The Oklahoman Is Owned By Philip Anschutz, Billionaire Oil And Gas Tycoon

The Oklahoman Was Purchased Last September By Billionaire Drilling Magnate Philip Anschutz. From the Tulsa World:

Thursday's announcement that The Oklahoman newspaper will be sold along with the rest of parent company OPUBCO's assets to the Anschutz Corp. of Denver leaves the Tulsa World as the state's largest local family-owned newspaper and one of the largest in the country.

“We welcome the new owners,” said Tulsa World Publisher Robert E. Lorton III, "but at the same time I think it's a loss for Oklahoma City to lose a family-owned newspaper.


The Anschutz Corp. is a subsidiary of the Anschutz Co., which encompasses the empire of billionaire Philip Anschutz and includes oil and gas drilling, railroads, communications, entertainment, professional sports and publishing. [Tulsa World,9/16/11, emphasis added]

Anschutz's Empire Includes Oil And Gas Drilling. According to a company brochure, The Anschutz Corporation controls both the Anschutz Exploration Corporation, which has “participated in significant discoveries and development of oil and gas worldwide,” and the Oklahoma Publishing Company, which includesThe Oklahoman. [, accessed Feb. 2012]

Anschutz Exploration Corporation Sued A Town For Banning Fracking. Reuters reported:

In a blow to the oil and gas industry, a judge has ruled small towns in New York have the authority to ban drilling -- including the controversial method known as fracking -- within their borders.

In a ruling released late Tuesday, state Supreme Court Justice Phillip Rumsey held that the Ithaca suburb of Dryden's recent ban on gas drilling falls within the authority of local governments to regulate local land use.

Anschutz Exploration Corporation, which owns leases on more than 22,000 acres (8,900 hectares) in the town and has invested $5.1 million in drilling operations there, argued the ban violated a state law designed to create uniform regulations for oil and gas drilling and encourage the extraction of those resources. [Reuters, 2/21/12]

Media Matters intern Brian Rabitz contributed research for this post.