NBC Laments Bush's Last-Minute Oil Shale Maneuvering

     Although NBC Universal’s “Green Week” ended days ago, a viewer could be forgiven for thinking it’s still underway based on the network’s coverage of President George W. Bush’s attempt to open up 2 million acres of federal land for oil shale development.


    On the Nov. 25 “Nightly News,” NBC Chief Investigative Correspondent Lisa Myers chided the Bush administration for “last minute moves,” despite there being nearly two months until Bush’s last day in office.


     What Myers characterized as a “flurry of midnight maneuvers,” would “open 2 million acres of western wilderness in three states to oil shale development, lease pristine areas alongside national parks in Utah for oil drilling and loosen pollution controls near national parks.”


     And to back up concerns about the prospects of developing shale as source of energy, Myers’ segment featured an interview with liberal activist and actor Robert Redford, who appeared on MSNBC’s “Rachel Maddow” show the night before with the same message.


    “What kind of an investment is that for our children, their children and theirs, to have all of their great monuments and some of the greatest places on the face of the earth destroyed for short-term benefits?” Redford said. Myers neglected to explore the “short-term” benefits, explain how shale development would “destroy” land, or feature anyone speaking in favor of oil shale development.


Instead, Myers generally labeled Bush’s actions in his last months in office as efforts to “reduce oversight and favor business,” citing Matt Media of OMB Watch, a so-called “government watchdog organization” that encourages more government regulation of business.


     “Matt Media says Bush’s new rules mostly reduce oversight and favor business,” Myers said. “Some would allow the government to build dams and projects without consulting the agency in charge of protecting endangered species, broaden the authority of health care workers and hospitals to refuse to provide family planning services and loosen restrictions on how many hours a trucker can drive.”


     Experts believe there’s enough oil in oil shale deposits to counter the stranglehold Middle Eastern oil producing nation have over the United States. “Oil shale deposits in the United States are estimated to contain over 2-trillion barrels of oil from oil shale averaging over 25-gallons per ton,” the National Oil Shale Association pointed out. “The three states of Colorado, Utah and Wyoming alone contain an amount of oil from oil shale that is comparable with the conventional oil reserves in the Middle East.”