American Solutions Puts Oil Spill "In Context"

April 29, 2010 3:53 pm ET — Walid Zafar

It's no secret that American Solutions shills for the titans of American industry, including the powerful oil and coal industries.  They pay the group big bucks and sit back while this "tri-partisan organization" defends them and their questionable practices.

The group's main initiative is their "Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less" campaign, which advocates for more domestic energy.  So what happens when drilling "here" results in a disaster ("America's worst offshore oil rig spill in 40 years") causing the deaths of 11 people and immeasurable environmental damage?  They continue to shill.

In a post about the clean-up effort currently underway in the Gulf of Mexico, Steve Everley, the group's Manager of Policy Research, writes: "Other experts were quick to put the spill into context. Dr. Dagmar Etkin of Environmental Research Consulting said oil seeps naturally from the Gulf floor 'at a rate of 1,500 to 4,000 barrels per day', or as much as two to three times larger than what is currently leaking from the exploded rig."

Etkin, who actually puts the figure closer to 2,700 barrels per day, did not say anything about oil seeping out naturally at "two to three times" more than the spill.  Everley made that figure up in order to downplay the impact of the spill. The government reports that 5,000 barrels a day are seeping from "the blown-out well 40 miles offshore," nearly double the amount that naturally seeps out. 

Additionally, it should be pointed out that the 2,700 barrels that seep out naturally do so throughout the entire "U.S. portion of the Gulf of Mexico" whereas the 5,000 barrels as a result of the accident are in a localized area.  Everley's explanation ultimately relies on fictitious numbers.  Worse, he puts things "in context" by not putting them in context at all.