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News Corp. Outlets Fail to Disclose Big Oil Ties of Their Commentators

News Corp. properties Fox News and The Wall Street Journal failed to disclose the fossil fuel industry ties of commentators who used the media outlets to advocate pro-fossil fuel industry positions.


On April 3, Fox & Friends hosted Competitive Enterprise Institute's Myron Ebell, who accused New York Governor Andrew Cuomo of delaying a decision to allow for fossil fuel extraction via hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, to keep Republican areas of the state from becoming richer and wielding more political influence.

Ebell dismissed the real concerns regarding fracking as political posturing when in fact, injection wells that store used fracking fluids have been linked to earthquakes, and drinking water contamination has beencorrelated with the drilling activity employed in fracking.

The Wall Street Journal print edition published an op-ed piece by the Institute for Policy Innovation's Merrill Matthews on the same day, where he denied that the fossil fuel industry receives tax breaks specific to the industry:

President Obama has been telling America for months that special tax breaks for the oil and gas industry must come to an end. The presidential demand always prompts puzzled gazes among tax and energy-industry experts, who ask: What special tax breaks?

Thanks in part to a bill sponsored by Rep. Chris Van Hollen, a Democrat from Maryland and ranking member on the House Budget Committee, it's all much clearer now. The congressman has inadvertently called attention to the fact that those special tax breaks just for the oil and gas industry don't exist.

Contrary to Matthews' claim, the Congressional Research Service and the conservative Heritage Foundation have found that the fossil fuel industry receives "special tax treatments" specifically for fossil fuel extraction.

News Corp. failed to disclose that both the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) and at the Institute for Policy Innovation (IPI) are partly funded by the oil industry.

CEI has received funding from the American Petroleum Institute, ExxonMobil, Texaco, and other fossil fuel interests.

IPI, founded by former House majority leader and ex-FreedomWorks chairman Dick Armey, has received funding from ExxonMobil and the Koch brothers.

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