Sunday, June 22, 2008



You can’t go wrong blaming the oil companies for the current troubles with fuel. Apparently that’s what Congressman Peter DeFazio figures.

He claims that the oil industry is hoarding untapped oil resources by not bringing millions of acres of federal oil and gas leases into production. To hammer home that point, he and other Democrats have introduced a bill that would force lease holders to perform or give up their leases.

This hoarding claim sounds pretty far out. Actually, what it sounds like is an attempt to find somebody to blame so that the people won’t blame him and other Democratic opponents of off-shore drilling for the price of gas.

DeFazio points to a congressional committee’s report claiming that the millions of acres of unexploited federal oil and gas leases could sharply increase domestic supplies of those commodities and, of course, wipe out a big share of our energy imports. Well, you have to wonder, if that’s so and the dastardly oil companies won’t do their duty, why doesn’t the government just cancel those leases and hire someone to produce those copious amounts of oil and gas? Wouldn’t that go a long way toward not just making us independent of Venezuela and the Arabs but also shore up the sagging federal budget?

The American Petroleum Institute has a more plausible explanation.

You can stop there. The API is the main industry trade group for oil. In other words, it's a bunch of lobbyists funded by oil companies. API also tends to fund anti-global-warming research.

Quoting them as a factual source of information - indeed, the latter half of Hering's editorial seems pretty clearly cribbed from an API press release - is like quoting Karl Rove as a nonpartisan political observer: It's obviously bullshit.

Even Hering should know better.

Oh, wait: It is cribbed from an API-released document.

It's nice to know API can rely on Hering to speak out against Peter DeFazio. If only the DH had an editor and not a tool, I wouldn't have to spend so much amusing Stoller with my endless stream of.... hey, I should start a HeringWatch blog...

...nah. Too much work. Maybe if I had some co-bloggers. Paging Stoller...

Anyway, the moral of the story? Hering hacks more than HM Stanley.


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