Cavuto did not ID Lott as energy company lobbyist, even as Lott touted specific issues for which he lobbies

››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

On Your World, Neil Cavuto hosted Trent Lott to discuss energy policy but failed to disclose that Lott is now a lobbyist for major energy companies. During the segment, Lott touted specific issues for which he lobbies, including "Algae to Ethanol technology" and offshore drilling.

On the March 11 edition of Fox News' Your World, Neil Cavuto hosted former Sen. Trent Lott (R-MS) to discuss energy policy but failed to disclose that Lott is now a lobbyist for major energy companies. During the segment, Lott touted the Republican proposal to "[g]ive incentives" to oil and gas companies and criticized proposals such as tax increases that would offer "disincentives" for oil and gas companies; he even touted specific issues for which he lobbies, including "Algae to Ethanol technology" and offshore drilling. Lott is the co-founder of the Breaux Lott Leadership Group and is registered to lobby on behalf of oil and gas clients Algenol Biofuels, Chevron, Shell, and Plains Exploration & Production Co.

Cavuto began the segment by stating: "Republicans are rolling out their own version of stimulus -- 'no-cost stimulus' -- plans that increase the economy's activity but without you paying a dime. It's called, 'Drill more, tax less.' " During the interview, Lott stated that President Obama's "budget blueprint does everything it possibly can to include disincentives to go out and get more oil and gas and, frankly, other alternative fuels, such as nuclear." Lott later claimed:

LOTT: I think Republicans are saying that we clearly have a lot of oil and gas in the United States, natural gas, including in the Gulf of Mexico, where I'm from. One of the things the Obama plan does is to tax the royalties on the production out of the Gulf of Mexico -- absolutely the wrong way to go. But what they would do would run up to $80 billion in tax increases.

The Republican plan is the reverse of that. Give incentives and open up areas where we know we can safely drill for oil and gas. Also, pursue the alternatives every way we can. I mean, we can do different kinds of ethanol, including ethanol made from algae. We can get into obviously nuclear is something we need to work on -- biofuels. There are a lot of alternatives out there; the Republicans are saying explore them all. Don't put taxes on them, which is a disincentive to produce all these things.

A search of the Lobbying Disclosure Act Database found that Lott is registered to lobby Congress on behalf of the following energy companies:

  • Algenol Biofuels Inc. Effective date of registration: 5/1/08. According to a lobbying report filed on 7/18/08, Lott's specific lobbying issue for Algenol is "[p]romoting Algae to Ethanol technology." During the Your World segment, Lott said that "we can do different kinds of ethanol, including ethanol made from algae" and cited biofuels as "something we need to work on."
  • Plains Exploration & Production Co. (PXP). Effective date of registration: 1/1/08. According to its website, PXP "is an independent oil and gas company primarily engaged in the activities of acquiring, developing, exploring and producing oil and gas in its core areas of operation: California, Texas, Louisiana and Gulf of Mexico." According to a lobbying report filed on 4/21/08, Lott's specific lobbying issues are "Offshore Oil and Gas issues." During the Your World segment, Lott encouraged more offshore drilling, including specifically in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Chevron USA Inc. Effective date of registration: 2/15/08. According to his registration report, Lott's specific lobbying issues are "Trade, Climate Change, Energy Tax Issues."
  • Shell Oil Co. Effective date of registration: 3/1/08. According to his registration report, Lott's specific lobbying issues are "Climate Change Issues, Offshore Oil and Gas Development."

During the segment, Cavuto simply identified Lott as the "former minority leader" and a U.S. senator. On-screen text identified Lott similarly:

Media Matters has previously noted that MSNBC hosted Lott to discuss energy policy but repeatedly failed to disclose that he is a lobbyist for oil and gas companies.

From the March 11 edition of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto:

CAVUTO: Now, Republicans are rolling out their own version of stimulus -- "no-cost stimulus" -- plans that increase the economy's activity but without you paying a dime. It's called, "Drill more, tax less." They say it creates 2 million jobs, pump cash into the government. Former Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott all for it. Senator, this almost sounds too good to be true.

LOTT: No, it is definitely possible for us to have more energy production across the board -- oil and gas. Certainly, we're going to need it well into the future. I'm all for alternatives, you know, the conservation proposals. In fact, candidate Obama talked about a comprehensive energy plan that would include offshore oil and gas drilling, but his budget blueprint does everything it possibly can to include disincentives to go out and get more oil and gas and, frankly, other alternative fuels, such as nuclear --

CAVUTO: So how did they figure those, Senator, that --

LOTT: -- but it would raise billions of dollars in taxes.

CAVUTO: I'm sorry. How did they figure that this alone would do what all of his various stimulus measures are doing and then some?

LOTT: Well, I'm not sure I understand your question.

CAVUTO: Well, in other words, that this alone is the stimulus, that you don't need anything else.

LOTT: In the energy area?

CAVUTO: Yeah.

LOTT: Or all of the other budget stuff that's going on, the spending?

CAVUTO: The energy area, the Republican idea that this is the alternative to their stimulus plan, to the Democrats' plan.

LOTTL: Well, look, I think Republicans are saying that we clearly have a lot of oil and gas in the United States, natural gas, including in the Gulf of Mexico, where I'm from. One of the things the Obama plan does is to tax the royalties on the production out of the Gulf of Mexico -- absolutely the wrong way to go. But what they would do would run up to $80 billion in tax increases.

The Republican plan is the reverse of that. Give incentives and open up areas where we know we can safely drill for oil and gas. Also, pursue the alternatives every way we can. I mean, we can do different kinds of ethanol, including ethanol made from algae. We can get into obviously nuclear is something we need to work on -- biofuels. There are a lot of alternatives out there; the Republicans are saying explore them all. Don't put taxes on them, which is a disincentive to produce all these things.

CAVUTO: Real quickly, the president saying he's against earmarks signed on to a spending bill loaded with 'em. But 40 percent of those are earmarks are Republicans'. Are you disappointed in your old colleagues?

LOTT: Look, Neil, I'm going to be honest like I think you need to be on something like this. I used to put earmarks in there. I think you have to look at 'em case by case. A lot of these earmarks are not justified. They haven't been put in their properly. In the past, you had to get an authorization, and then you had to get it appropriated. This was clearly bloated. The bill is too big. The earmarks are way too many. I think that President Obama should veto this bill.

CAVUTO: All right. Well, he didn't. He signed on to it. Senator, always good seeing you, my friend. The former majority leader of the U.S. Senate, Trent Lott.

Posted In
Environment & Science, Climate Change, Energy
Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Neil Cavuto
Show/Publication
Your World w/ Neil Cavuto
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