Oil Industry Says "Jump," The Washington Post Asks "How High?"

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In a front page story today the Washington Post claims that "Obama's focus on visiting clean-tech companies raises questions." The problem is that the people raising questions are clean tech's competitors in the oil industry.

The article explains that President Obama who is on the record as a supporter of clean energy technology, has "fulfill[ed] a campaign pledge to push clean tech, from solar energy and wind power to electric vehicles," in part by visiting "22 clean-tech projects on 19 separate trips."

What's the problem? The Post answers:

The oil and gas industry, for example, has invested billions in energy innovation and job creation and could benefit from similar presidential attention, said Martin J. Durbin, executive vice president of the American Petroleum Institute.

"He's missing an incredible opportunity he has to join with us to make a difference in economic growth, job creation, national security and clean technology," Durbin said. "If you went and added up the number of jobs at these clean-tech companies he visited, in all honesty, I think you're going to find a very modest number of jobs."

So the trade association of the oil and gas industry -- the American Petroleum Institute -- raises a concern about their competitors, and the Post gives them a front page article? Even the hook doesn't make sense: How is it news that a President who ran a campaign in which he supported clean energy still supports it?

This story does create an interesting precedent. Can rivals now just order up news stories that are critical of their competitors? Can Yankees fans "raise questions" about the Red Sox, and vice versa?

Posted In
Environment & Science, Energy
Washington Post
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