The American Future Fund, a shady right-wing front group incorporated as a 501 c(4), is running a radio ad in Colorado criticizing Rep. Mark Udall (D-CO) for “blocking American energy.” The ad, promoting an offshore drilling bill sponsored by 87 House Republicans, is replete with falsehoods:
Here are a few things to think about next time you pull up to the pump. The U.S. actually has more oil resources than Saudi Arabia. But Congress has put up to 85% of these resources off limits. Cuba is drilling for oil off the Florida coast but Congress continues to stop U.S. companies from doing the same thing.
The “things to think about” are simply incorrect. In fact, Saudi Arabia has ten times as much oil as the United States, most offshore oil is available for drilling, and there is no drilling taking place in Cuban waters:
The U.S. Has 2 Percent Of The World’s Oil, Saudi Arabia Has 20 Percent. The best estimates of the world’s proved oil reserves are that the United States has 22 to 30 billion barrels of oil, out of 1.2 to 1.3 trillion barrels worldwide — 1.6 to 2.5 percent of total reserves. Saudi Arabia has by far the greatest supply of oil, with 20 to 22 percent of total reserves. [Energy Information Administration, 2007]
75 Percent of U.S. Offshore Reserves Are Available For Drilling. “Most of the country’s estimated offshore reserves – about 75 percent – lie in areas that have been drilled for years or are being opened for exploration. Roughly 48 percent of the nation’s estimated reserves, or 41 billion barrels, lie beneath the western and central Gulf of Mexico, where oil companies armed with new drilling technology are pushing into ever deeper water. Another 27 percent of the estimated reserves, or 23.6 billion barrels, are believed to lie off the north coast of Alaska, where the federal government sold oil exploration leases this spring, despite fears that the work would hurt the polar bear population.” [San Francisco Chronicle, 7/22/2008]
No Drilling Is Taking Place In Cuban Waters. “Cuba’s state oil company, Cupet, has issued exploration contracts to companies from India, Canada, Spain, Malaysia and Norway, according to diplomats. But many oil companies from those countries have expressed reservations about how to turn potential crude oil into product. Cuba doesn’t have the refinery capacity, and the Cuban embargo prohibits the oil from coming to U.S. refineries.” According to Jorge Piñón, a senior energy fellow at the University of Miami specializing in Latin America, “[N]o one is currently drilling in any of those concessions.” [McClatchy, 6/11/2008]
In exploiting high gas prices to promote a Big Oil agenda, the right wing is telling falsehoods, over and over again.
Transcript: Read more