So you've been waiting for your electric car? The car that's better than a Prius? The car you can just plug in at night and drive all day? The car that doesn't even use oil or even any fossil fuels? Wait on. AP and Denver Post salivating aside, energy independence at a reasonable price is not just around the corner.
Politicians and automakers say a car that can reduce greenhouse gases and free America from its reliance on foreign oil is years or even decades away.

In a stunning example of how the mainstream press manipulates public opinion, as well as a clear explanation as to why the majority of the American people believes that the economy is doing poorly despite mountains of statistical evidence to the contrary, the press today decided to largely ignore one of the biggest one-day declines in energy prices in many months.

As I reported here yesterday, oil prices at the NYMEX dropped by almost three dollars per barrel, with gas prices declining by almost ten cents. Yet, after scaring the American public with regular predictions of economic gloom and doom concerning inflationary fears tied to escalating energy prices the past few weeks, America's two most prominent newspapers -- the New York Times and the Washington Post -- must have decided that good news on the energy front wasn’t deserving of the public’s attention.  (cont'd...)

Oil and gas prices had their biggest one-day decline in months today after an Energy Department report suggested that the highly-touted shortage that has been all over the news in the past couple of weeks is actually not the case.

The September crude oil contract declined by $2.78 to $63.30 per barrel -- a 4.2% decline -- while September gas fell by 9.86 cents to $1.885 per gallon -- a 5% decline.

According to Bloomberg:

Demand for gasoline fell 75,000 barrels to an average 9.4 barrels a day, the lowest in a month, according to the report.

``There are signs that gasoline demand is tapering off, which has reduced supply fears," said [Tom Bentz, an oil broker at BNP Paribas Commodity Futures Inc. in New York].

U.S. gasoline demand last month was lower than in July 2004 because of higher retail prices, the American Petroleum Institute said in a report released today. The total amount of gasoline supplied in the U.S., a measure of demand, was 9.28 million barrels a day in July, down 0.8 percent from a year earlier, the industry-funded group's report showed.

Isn't that fascinating? Gasoline demand was lower this July than last July. Moreover, crude oil supplies are now 9.6% higher than they were this time last year.

That's right -- I said HIGHER. (cont'd)

On Tuesday night, ABC's World News Tonight ran a report placing some of the blame for high gas prices on government regulations that make it difficult to build new refineries in a timely manner.

Unlike last week's brief but welcome departure from biased coverage on gas prices, CBS's Early Show was back to form with its biased reporting today, this time with correspondent Mark Strassmann faulting businesses for factoring higher gas prices into the price of goods and services: "And as prices keep going up, more businesses want customers, want you, to pay fuel surcharges, as if paying for your gas wasn't enough, now you're expected to pay for other people's."

Of course, it shouldn't have to take a brilliant economist to tell Strassmann that all businesses always pass on all their input costs to consumers in the final price of their goods and services, including the costs of fuel as well as wages, health care, taxes, and regulation, and that if not for a separate "surcharge," the additional fuel cost would just be factored and hidden into the "regular" price.

Read the entire transcript below:

As Mark Finkelstein accurately noted earlier this morning, NBC’s Today gave big play to the supposed havoc that rising fuel prices are having on American society. But the hype reached ridiculous levels when Katie Couric insisted during Monday’s show opening that “I had to take out a loan to fill up my minivan. It’s crazy.”

Couric makes at least $15 million a year co-hosting Today.

Here’s how Couric and co-host Matt Lauer teased their upcoming segment on the “pain” of “sky high” gas prices:

So, have you noticed that gas prices are heading higher?

The San Francisco Chronicle certainly has. In fact, after reading this Sunday's front-page article on the subject, as well a business section cover story from the same issue, one gets the sense that the economy is about to crumble at any moment as a result.

Of couse, that's if you only read the portion of these articles on the covers of their respective sections, for inside the body of the paper, things are mysteriously much less dire:

On Friday night, reporting on the rise in the price of a barrel of oil to $66.87, CBS anchor Bob Schieffer inaccurately described that as a “record high,” ABC anchor Bob Woodruff erroneously referred to it as “another new high” and NBC's Brian Williams fallaciously declared: “Oil prices at an all-time record again today.” But NBC reporter Andrea Mitchell, in a piece on what is causing the rising prices of oil and gas, soon conceded the reality which her colleagues studiously avoid: “As bad as prices are now, the surprising fact is that gasoline is still cheaper than in 1981, at least adjusted for inflation.” A barrel of oil will need to top $90 to set an actual record high price.

Below is an August 12 MRC CyberAlert article, “Nets Falsely Cite 'Record High' Gas Prices, Target Oil Profits,” about Thursday night and earlier mis-reporting of energy prices:

NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams on Tuesday night wondered, “with many of the numbers and many economists saying the economy is in good shape in this country, the question is: Why isn't President Bush benefitting from that?” Reporter Kelly O'Donnell inadvertently provided part of the answer when she suggested the lack of public confidence in the economy is “fueled most notably by record gas prices, an issue the White House concedes overshadows other economic successes." But while gas prices are rising, they are far short a “record” high price. NBC isn’t alone in spreading this canard. On Monday’s CBS Evening News, anchor Bob Schieffer asserted that “the government reported today that gas prices jumped eight cents in the past week to a record high of $2.37 a gallon. And oil soared to another record high, today just short now of $64 a barrel." The same night, ABC anchor Charles Gibson falsely cited how the cost of gas and oil “hit new highs.”

Full August 10 CyberAlert item follows. For today's MRC CyberAlert, click here.