CNBC Media Editor Warns Democrats Will Exploit Sex for Oil Scandal

September 11th, 2008 6:29 PM

You would never associate sex and drugs with crude oil - but politically, the Democratic Party might try.

Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., appeared in an interview on CNBC's September 11 "Power Lunch" the day after it was revealed that federal investigators discovered an Interior Department group overseeing the collection of oil and natural gas royalties improperly had sex with subordinates and customers, engaged in illegal drug use and accepted gifts from oil company employees.

Immediately following the interview, CNBC Media and Technology Editor Dennis Kneale observed the demeanor of Nelson and warned the scandal would be exploited by Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama, Ill., for political purposes.

"If this is such a sad story of sex for oil, why the Senator smiling, number one?" Kneale said. "Number two, this will be an Obama ad in about six minutes from now. Number three, not one shred of evidence that I read about says that in exchange for sexual favors and cocaine - some oil company got some big break."

Kneale reasoned the scandal shouldn't be used to for political purposes. According to the CNBC segment, oil revenues are the second largest source of revenue for the government, behind taxes. The government actually came out ahead in his estimation.

"In five years, the oil companies, they said, collected an extra $4 million because of some adjustments to contracts," Kneale said. "They have received tens of millions of dollars in extra income to the government because they got oil back. It's simply unrelated. This office is collecting billions of dollars from the oil companies, but $4 million in five years that benefited the oil companies?"