Tuesday, August 12, 2008

PolitickerOH, Garland, Tiberi

I didn't want to get sucked in too early, and I had my reasons. The first one had to do with a completely unrelated operation called Politico.com, which debuted this year with great fanfare promising to be the premier new media/old media blend of mass market/insider politics. While there is no doubt that the venture has been a popular one, and the phrase "of The Politico" gets 16k+ results in Google... I was very disappointed. In my personal opinion, The Politico sucks. So when a site seemed to be trying to replicate The Politico on a state-by-state basis, I more than half expected it to eventually suck 50 times as much. The second reason had to do with the Democratic National Convention and the media credentials given to bloggers. One blog per state was to receive convention floor passes, and when the choices were announced, there were some obvious travesties. Some would have you believe that the Ohio choice was problematic. It wasn't. The New Jersey choice, on the other hand, granted credentials to PolitickerNJ, a professionally run website owned by a traditional media corporation (NY Observer) and the flagship Politicker site, over Blue Jersey, one of the granddaddies of the state-level political blogosphere. While Politicker can't be blamed for the Party's choice of credential recipients, merely applying for the credentials was, in my opinion, an insult to the letter and spirit of the DNC's blogger outreach and to the NJ blogosphere. So my first impression of Politicker? A-holes.

Given that I was biased to see PolitickerOH as a site for stale gossip and clumsy spin run by tone-deaf jerks, it may not come as a surprise that I didn't link to it right away. I didn't even bother to waste the space in my RSS reader. But fairly quickly...

PolitickerOH has become pretty much what it set out to become, and I'm certainly more diminished than it is by my dismissal. I read it now. You should read it. I guessed wrong.

Having said that, it still leaves something to be desired at times. For instance, they have an article up about the donations made by the Ohio Physical Therapy Association under Nancy Garland. What they don't mention is that Nancy already has responded to this issue, which was prominently raised during the primary 5 months ago.

Last Friday, they published an interview with Pat Tiberi, who identified energy as the number one issue in the election. They didn't mention that his opponent, David Robinson, had made energy the number one issue of his campaign six months earlier. Nor did they follow-up on Tiberi's ridiculous assertion that:

...he has never heard from any credible source that it's going to take more than seven years for the oil gained from new drilling to enter the market. He said that depending on where the oil is extracted from it could take even less time, such as three to five years.
The U.S. Department of Energy, an agency within the Bush administration, in response to a request by a pro-drilling Republican Senator (Stevens, R-AK), released a study of ANWR Crude Oil Production in May of this year. From the summary:
The assumption that ANWR oil production would begin 10 years after legislation approves the Federal oil and natural gas leasing in the 1002 Area is based on the following 8-to-12 year timeline:

  • 2 to 3 years to obtain leases, including the development of a U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) leasing program, which includes approval of an Environmental Impact Statement, the collection and analysis of seismic data, and the auction and award of leases.
  • 2 to 3 years to drill a single exploratory well. Exploratory wells are slower to drill because geophysical data are collected during drilling, e.g., rock cores and well logs. Typically, Alaska North Slope exploration wells take two full winter seasons to reach the desired depth.
  • 1 to 2 years to develop a production development plan and obtain BLM approval for that plan, if a commercial oil reservoir is discovered. Considerably more time could be required if the discovered oil reservoir is very deep, is filled with heavy oil, or is highly faulted. The petroleum company might have to collect more seismic data or drill delineation wells to confirm that the deposit is commercial.
  • 3 to 4 years to construct the feeder pipelines; to fabricate oil separation and treatment plants, and transport them up from the lower-48 States to the North Slope by ocean barge; construct drilling pads; drill to depth; and complete the wells.

The 10-year timeline for developing ANWR petroleum resources assumes that there is no protracted legal battle in approving the BLM’s draft Environmental Impact Statement, the BLM’s approval to collect seismic data, or the BLM’s approval of a specific lease-development proposal.

So, either the DOE is not credible, or the highest profile drilling proposal will take a minimum of eight years to get fuel to market, and that is only under the best-case scenario. In other words, voters can decide whether they find the U.S. Department of Energy or Pat Tiberi more credible on oil drilling.

But all told, PolitickerOH tends to subscribe to what I think of as the Weekly style of fairness, and I'm okay with that. And they published the Tiberi interview late Friday afternoon, home of the affectionately termed News Dump, which might even mean that they were embarrassed on his behalf. But if they give Mr. Tiberi's bizarre energy assertions more prominent play, so will I.

1 comment:

Ben said...

I think Politicker is doing some good things as well.

IMO Politico started off real strong, but it seems to have faded into more sensaltionism lately.