CNN’s Larry King Live offered a cavalcade of oil, coal, and nuclear industry apologists last night, telling watchers that “all of us” are to blame for high gas prices, oil companies are “heroes,” and that we should convert coal to gasoline, drill for oil in the North Pole, and build more nuclear plants. Not once was global warming mentioned, or how the policies advocated by the guests would lead us on a path to climate catastrophe.
Chevron’s CEO, David O’Reilly, sat with King throughout the show, defending his company’s record profits and deflecting questions about how much he personally makes. When asked by King if he feels any guilt for Chevron’s $18 billion profit last year, O’Reilly blamed “all of us” for being “too complacent about energy.” O’Reilly also pushed for lifting the offshore drilling moratorium, saying drilling in protected areas “can be done safely” but “will take some time.” He continued:
But, the reality is it can be done. It’s urgent enough that if we don’t start today, my kids and my grandkids will suffer because of it.
Unlike the O’Reilly clan, most “kids and grandkids” today do not have oil executives for grandparents to pass down their obscene profits — in the past five years, O’Reilly has pulled in $82.51 million. It’s certainly possible that the O’Reilly inheritance might “suffer” a bit if Chevron’s oil lust is kept in check.
However, all children today will suffer as they try to survive on the radically changed and deteriorated planet if fossil fuel use, as O’Reilly advocates, continues unabated for decades to come.
I think these oil companies are heroes. Think what it takes to bring this stuff to us, across an ocean, refine it into three types of gasoline, put it in trucks that cost 100,000 dollars each, ship that to gasoline stations that have to have this expensive equipment so we don’t blow ourselves up pumping our own gas.
O’Reilly’s response? “That’s nice to hear someone on our side.”
Stossel wasn’t the only one. In opposition to O’Reilly’s promotion of offshore drilling, Gov. Brian Schweitzer (D-MT) advocated drilling in his state of Montana. Larry King’s listeners also heard from Nancy Pfotenhauer, a McCain spokeswoman who repeated her claim — despite all evidence — that “Senator McCain’s plan has provisions to immediately offer some relief.” She somehow failed to mention that she is also a career hack for Koch Industries, the $90 billion right-wing pollution-industry giant. King joined in the fun by asking when Chevron would start drilling for oil in the North Pole — seemingly anxious for when global warming will have eliminated the ice that has been there since the dawn of the human race.
CNN’s other friends to their fossil-industry sponsors include Ali Velshi, a dedicated coal-industry supporter, and Glenn Beck, a global warming denier who recently told Americans, “Be thankful for big oil.”
UPDATE: Media Matters reports that NBC and MSNBC have aired multiple reports on offshore drilling — including segments reported live from a Chevron oil rig — without explaining “environmental concerns” or disclosing GE’s drilling connection.