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.
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."
Fox Business Network's Eric Bolling asserted that, according to offshore oil "drillers" with whom he had spoken, "China was probably drilling offshore, very close to our shore through Cuba, and taking some of that oil that -- that honestly could -- could and should be helping our situation." His assertion that China was drilling "very close to our shore" echoed a claim made by Vice President Dick Cheney -- citing columnist George Will -- that both Cheney and Will have since corrected.
NBC's Today and Nightly News and MSNBC Live aired segments in which correspondent Janet Shamlian reported live from an offshore drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico. But while two of Shamlian's reports included quotes from a Chevron spokesperson, none of her reports included an interview with or quote from environmental organizations or explained the "environmental concerns" that Shamlian acknowledged exist. Further, neither Shamlian nor the hosts and anchors disclosed that General Electric, which owns 80 percent of NBC Universal, also has an affiliated business unit that is invested in the acquisition and production of oil and natural gas and another that is a major supplier of equipment and services for the offshore drilling industry.
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 MSNBC Live, responding to a comment by Andrea Mitchell about "the massive 1969 oil spill" in Santa Barbara, California, Sen. Richard Burr stated: "Well, Andrea, how technology has changed since 1969. It can take a Category 5 hurricane in the Gulf that really came twice, and the technology made sure that there wasn't a drop that was spilled in the Gulf." In fact, a report prepared for the U.S. Minerals Management Service stated that as a result of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita "124 [oil] spills were reported with a total volume of roughly 17,700 barrels of total petroleum products."
In articles on Sen. John McCain's reversal on offshore drilling, The New York Times reported that McCain "cast" his position "switch" as a "bold action in response to gasoline prices topping $4 a gallon," while The Washington Post suggested that McCain's position is a response "to ease the crunch for consumers." Neither article pointed out that the Department of Energy has determined that offshore drilling would not impact gas prices for many years.
Glenn Beck falsely claimed that "drilling in ANWR alone would yield 100 million barrels a day." In fact, according to Energy Department researchers, if the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is opened for drilling for oil in 2008, the estimated peak production would yield, at most, 1.45 million barrels a day in 2028.
On MSNBC Live, Andrea Mitchell discussed Sen. John McCain's call to end the moratorium on offshore oil drilling with RNC deputy chairman Frank Donatelli, but did not mention that Donatelli was a registered lobbyist for energy sector clients ExxonMobil and Dominion Resources before joining the RNC.
Sean Hannity claimed on his radio show, "[W]e've got China, you know, joining with Cuba, they're drilling 60 miles off our shores of Florida." But Vice President Dick Cheney has reportedly issued a correction for making the same claim, as has George Will, whom Cheney cited as the source of his claim.
The AP reported that Vice President Dick Cheney's office has acknowledged that "he was mistaken when he asserted that China, at Cuba's behest, is drilling for oil in waters 60 miles from the Florida coast" -- an assertion Cheney took from columnist George Will. Does Will plan to offer evidence in support of his claim, or will he issue a correction?
MSNBC's Contessa Brewer uncritically aired President Bush's assertion that the "United States has an opportunity to help increase the supply of oil on the market, therefore taking pressure off gasoline for our hardworking Americans, and that I've proposed to the Congress that they open up ANWR, and open up the continental shelf, and give this country a chance to help us through this difficult period." However, federal researchers have found that any benefit from the oil exploration Bush suggests would not impact the U.S. oil supply for at least a decade.