Matt Cover writes in a Sept. 14 CNSNews.com "news" article: "Average retail gasoline prices have more than doubled under President Obama, according to government statistics, rising from $1.84 per gallon to $3.85 per gallon."
If Cover sounds like he's merely regurgitating right-wing talking points, that's because he is.
As it so happens, a group called the American Energy Alliance is currently running an ad making that exact same claim, with the tag line, "Tell Obama we can’t afford his failing energy policies." The American Energy Allianceis a group funded by oil industry executive, specifically the Koch brothers.
As befits a propagandist doing the work if the oil lobby -- which CNS loves to do -- Cover fails to present all of the relevant facts regarding the price difference. As the Consumer Energy Report points out:
In the summer of 2008 — Bush’s last year in office — gasoline prices climbed above $4/gallon for nine straight weeks on the back of oil prices that reached nearly $150/barrel. But those prices were unsustainable in the short term, and unsurprisingly, they collapsed. By the end of the year, oil prices had retreated into the $30′s, and gasoline had fallen back to $1.71/gallon.
But those low prices represented an overcorrection. I noted at the time that I didn’t believe prices would stay at those levels for very long, and by the time Obama was inaugurated gasoline prices had already climbed by $0.20/gallon over the three weeks before his inauguration. Gasoline prices would continue to climb as oil prices recovered.
So the claim of gasoline prices doubling under Obama is technically correct, but irrelevant because the reason it happened was that he came into office near the bottom of a price overcorrection. Blaming Obama for the price rise would be like blaming him for cases of lung cancer that were detected during his term.
There are substantive discussions to be had about President Obama’s energy policies, and how they will impact the U.S. in coming years. Blaming him for high gasoline prices are not part of that substantive discussion.
Blaming Obama, of course, is exactly what Cover is doing. Is it because he's a lazy reporter or because he's working as a right-wing propagandist?