All Lies Lead Back To The Oil Industry

  • Tuesday, 10 November 2015 00:00

With the EPA's self-imposed deadline to release the final rule on the 2014, 2015 and 2016 RFS a few weeks away, the oil industry is throwing just about everything it has to sway the final numbers in its favor. The only thing left is the kitchen sink.

After multi-million dollar ad campaigns, a fictitious study and a letter from the industry's lawmakers to the EPA, the latest salvo from Big Oil is in form of Fox News (that bastion of hard news journalism). Yesterday, it's editor-at-large wrote a lengthy piece on the ongoing fight between the ethanol industry and the oil industry over the RFS.

What at first seems like a balanced (pun intended) review later turns into a fluff piece on behalf of the oil industry. For example, in an attempt to illustrate the broad opposition the RFS faces in Congress, the story cites a recent letter sent by 184 lawmakers to the EPA which warned of the "serious" implications that could be faced if the (fictitious) blend wall was breached.

What the story fails to note is that the letter was actually drafted by the oil industry itself as discovered by Bloomberg News. Isn't that the bigger story? These are lawmakers who were, in their letter, supposedly concerned about consumers. Instead, it appears as though they were just following instructions.

Another example of where Fox News decided to disregard basic journalistic practices was by citing the controversal study from the University of Tennessee. Fox News goes on to detail the study's findings but forgets to mention that the study was funded by the oil industry and uses conclusions made by anti-ethanol champion Jason Hill and ignores the industry-accepted GREET model in calculating emissions.

Worse, had Fox News done some checking, it would have discovered that the authors of the study were once fans of ethanol. We wonder what changed their minds.

Discovering that Fox News employs shoddy journalistic practices is nothing new. What this demonstrates, however, is how far in its desperation the oil industry is willing to go.

And we have to ask ourselves why. Could it be because the oil industry believes the EPA is going to revise the RFS targets upwards?