Friday, March 4, 2011

WSJ's Dishonest Discussion of Obama and Gas Prices


The Wall Street Journal seems to be getting more and more Fox-like by the day. This article connects Obama's energy policies to sky-rocketing gas prices. It goes on to say that his restrictive drilling policies are partially to blame for the prices and that lifting those restrictions will lower gas prices. This is just patently untrue. The U.S. Energy Information Administration has repeatedly reported that increased domestic drilling would reduce gas prices by only 3 cents, by 2030! (http://climateprogress.org/2011/02/01/eia-new-offshore-drilling-will-lower-gas-prices-in-2030-a-few-pennies-a-gallon/) Not only that, but increased domestic drilling would not make us energy independent because 1. oil is sold on a world market 2. we could never know where the oil we consume is coming from and 3. we will always consume more oil than we produce.
One could argue that increased drilling could increase employment or increase profits of oil and gas companies, but it is dishonest to say that it would in any way decrease gas prices in the short term or even significantly in the long term. It works well politically for the GOP to say that gas prices are high because of Obama (because it hurts Obama, while promoting the oil industry), but that talking point shouldn't be parroted along by any media source, left or right. What do you WSJ readers think?

4 comments:

Patrick_Landers said...

someone might point out that it is an opinion article. Therefore, Kimberly Strassel can say whatever she wants, technically. Professor Eismeier and I had a conversation earlier on the blog, based on another one of Kimberly's peice (which I also thought included glaring deceptions and skirting of the truth). The question I brought up then was whether the WSJ has an obligation to provide balance or set a base quality for assertions in articles made by regular writers (since you wouldn't be able to accept anything from a public figure writing a guest opinion because they rarely make quality, accurate arguments). I though that this obligation might come fromt the relationship between a newspaper like the WSJ, which is considered a respectable institution, and its readers who depend on and expect it to add to the civic discourse.

Megan said...

Oh please. Does anyone see the bull Krugman spouts on a daily basis at the nytimes?

TJE said...

I read op-ed to suggest that as a political matter, Obama policies would get most of the blame despite the fact that there are many causes spike.

PBM said...

Yeah, Krugman can get a little out of hand, but he at least backs his points up with actual economic data if he is making an economic argument. I don't like either side doing it, but you have to agree that with this article, they are sidestepping the truth to make a political argument in favor of right wing energy policies. This is also apparent in other WSJ post I put up, where they took a poll on deficit reduction, but in their analysis, didn't mention the public's preferred means of deficit reduction because they were more liberal priorities. I know it happens on both sides, and that angers me. The problem is, and I deal with this on the phone every day, when people don't step outside their left or right wing media box to get actual facts on issues. I have so many uninformed people calling me everyday saying gas prices are high because of Obama, which is just factually incorrect. I just wish that somewhere in the news they are consuming, facts would outweigh ideological talking points.