A NYT article on President Obama's proposals for increasing the tax credits for buying cars powered by alternative fuels concluded by quoting President Obama's statements that gas prices are determined by the world market and will be little affected by increased U.S. production of oil. This is also something that happens to be true.

U.S. oil production is around 9 percent of world production. Even very large increases in U.S. production would have only a minimal effect on world oil prices, and therefore a minimal effect on the price of gas in the United States. The NYT should tell readers this and not leave it as a he said/she said proposition on which reasonable people can differ. It isn't.

It would also be helpful if the NYT put the numbers in this piece in some context. For example, the $1 billion that President Obama proposed to spend to help cities build infrastructure for vehicles powered by alternative fuels would be equal to approximately 0.03 percent of federal spending if it were done in a single year, which seems unlikely. (The article is not clear on the time-frame of the spending proposals it mentions.)

Such context is important since many readers may not realize that these proposals will have very little consequence for the budget or the deficit.

[Addendum: The Washington Post commits the same sins.]

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