NBC Nightly News on Saturday (4/29/11) had a pretty standard report on the politics of gas prices: Republicans blame Obama, and some Democrats are talking up the idea of raising taxes on oil companies. "Democrats call the profits excessive, and portray Republicans as wedded to oil interests," correspondent Mike Viqueira explained.
Then NBC introduced an expert, who had this somewhat curious take:
VIQUEIRA: With Congress returning Monday from a two-week break, experts say there is little that Washington can do to lower the short-term price per gallon. In the end, what may bring down the high prices of gas is the high price of gas itself.
AMY JAFFE (Baker Institute Energy Forum Director): Consumers don't realize it, but we have a lot of power. When–last time when Americans stopped driving because they didn't like the high price, that actually did bring down the price of oil over time. And we probably will see that again.
Oil companies? Come on, the people have the real power!
So what's the Baker Energy Forum? That would James Baker's institute at Rice University. And on the group's advisory board:
EnergyFutures Holding Corporation
Marathon Oil Corporation
The "Patrons" list includes Hess and GenOn Energy. The "Members" list includes the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation.
Next time NBC might want to mention who they're using for expert analysis–or better yet, find someone else to talk to about gas prices.