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  • It Depends on Your Definition of 'Biggest'

    New York Times reporter Andre Revkin has a typically banal hatchet job of a post up at his Dot Earth blog trying to undercut Newt Gingrich’s “Drill here, Drill now, Pay less” campaign by using the tired lefty tactic of painting him as a tool of big oil. Newt’s a big boy who can defend himself, but Revkin’s slander-a-thon also mentions The Heritage Foundation in passing. Revkin writes:

    Thomas A. Saunders III ($200,000)—Saunders is a Trustee of the Heritage Foundation, a think tank devoted to free enterprise, limited government and individual freedom. Exxon Mobil is one of the Foundation’s biggest donors.

    Either Revkin is just making stuff up or he has a very strained concept of what it takes to be “one of the Foundation’s biggest donors.” Exxon Mobil accounts for a grand total of 0.07% of total 2008 projected Heritage Foundation revenues.

    And while we are reading through the rest of Revkin’s post, he also mentions that “federal energy analysts have said offshore drilling would have no impact on oil production or prices before 2030.” Unlike his assertions about Exxon and Heritage, this statement is actually true. But Revkin really ought to provide some context so his readers know just how good these “federal energy analysts” are at predicting oil prices.

    The Energy Information Administration, the analysts Revkin was referring to, do fine work documenting current and past oil prices and reserves. Their record at predicting future oil prices is a little less stellar. For example, in 2005 the EIA made predictions for oil prices for every five years extending through 2025. On the low end, the EIA predicted the average cost of crude oil would close at $33.99 at the end of 2005, drop into the $20 to $30 price range in the next 20 years and then close at $30 in 2025.On the high end, EIA predicted oil prices would close in 2005 at $43.63, then range between $30 and $37 the next 20 years and close at $35 in 2025. On Monday the price of oil closed at $145 a barrel. So the EIA was only off, at the least, by 392 percent. Just thought Revkin’s readers had the right to know.

    Posted in Energy [slideshow_deploy]

    One Response to It Depends on Your Definition of 'Biggest'

    1. Andy Revkin says:

      What an absurd critique. You completely avoid mentioning that I expressed deep skepticism about the assertions of the environmental group, Alaska Wilderness League, which concluded that this list was some kind of "gotcha."

      And I don't see you citing any analysis pointing to near-term reductions in oil prices from long-term shifts in drilling effort. And you obviously didn't read all the way down the post to where I discuss how some experts with environmental leanings actually think we SHOULD drill domestically (and responsibly) instead of pursuing oil in, say, Nigeria and Ecuador.

      One final tidibt. My name is Andy (or Andrew), not Andre.
      http://www.nytimes.com/revkin

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