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Posts tagged “misinformation”

By Robert Rapier on Mar 12, 2012 with 27 responses

The Professor Who Knew Too Little

It is clear that many people have a very simplistic — but wrong — view of the energy markets. This extends to politicians who believe they can usher in a return to $2 gasoline, as well as those who underestimate the difficulty of replacing oil with renewable energy.

For the average person, gasoline prices go up because oil companies are pulling strings, meeting in secret to set prices, or withholding product from the market. To top it off, we are sending them our tax dollars as subsidies while they are wallowing in cash! That’s the view from the man on the street. Somehow, I would have expected a USC business school professor to have a more sophisticated understanding of the situation — especially if he decided to write an article about it. But I would have been wrong.

Normally, when I read something like the following, I am more prone to just shake my head over the sad state of the person’s energy IQ. But I am making an exception here in the case of Professor Ira Kalb, a marketing professor at USC’s Marshall School of Business. The professor recently wrote the following article for Business Insider:

The Only Reason Gas Is $5-A-Gallon Is Oil Companies Have Convinced Us Prices Are Out Of Their Control

By Robert Rapier on Aug 1, 2011 with 114 responses

‘Tis the Season for Oil Company Misinformation

In my travels around the globe, I have never been to another country that regards their oil companies as we do here in the U.S. I have actually been in countries where people view their domestic oil companies as a source of national pride. Here in the U.S., the average person on the street views our oil companies as vile, greedy parasites on taxpayers that should be tarred, feathered, and run right out of the country. While this belief is commonly held among Democrats, even staunch Conservatives like Bill O’Reilly have gone on anti-oil company rants, while offering suggestions like “American oil companies must supply the federal government with a written explanation every time they raise the price of gas… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Jun 20, 2011 with 79 responses

Media Misinformation Promotes Dysfunctional Energy Policy

Over the years I have had some enlightening interactions with the news media. I have gradually developed the view that many in the media believe their role is more to entertain than to inform. My naive younger self believed that the media generally presents objective information, which is important to ensure that a well-informed general public makes rational choices. A public that is well-informed about energy issues can elect leaders who legislate sound energy policy. A public that is consistently misinformed on energy issues will elect leaders who legislate the kind of policies that have led us to where we are today. Here I will share three incidents in which the news media put sensationalism ahead of objective journalism. In… Continue»