As one inclined to view the world with a skeptic’s eye, the political campaign season is a target-rich environment.  

It is unfortunate that candidates can be elected by creating a narrative which by all rights should have a product disclaimer such as: “statements made are intended for political persuasion and may not be factually complete”.   

At best, these campaign ads use a partial set of facts to create a conclusion that is missing the context of the other part of the facts. 

One topic Senator Catherine Cortez-Masto’s campaign is using to stoke passions against candidate Adam Laxalt is the price of fuel. The ads are weak on substance, while playing fast-and-loose with the conclusions to be drawn from the facts offered. 

Fact: fuel prices are the highest they have ever been.

Fact: oil companies are bringing in big money because of these prices.

That is about where the factual basis of these campaign ads ends.  The Senator’s campaign wants to blame fuel prices on two villains: Adam Laxalt for being an oil company lobbyist, and the (implied) robber baron oil companies.  But the whole truth is just a little different.

Oil is a commodity which is traded on global exchanges.  

The available oil goes in and the brokers wrestle over how much their clients are willing to pay to meet their needs.  The more need the more valuable; the less available the more valuable.  This is the rule of supply and demand and the oil companies did not create it. Refined products follow – roughly - the price of the raw (crude) materials. 

One ad accusing oil company CEO’s of malice compares 2022 and 2018 fuel prices with the oil prices of those two years.  

What they don’t also include is how different the demand for oil was for those two years; not an apples-to-apples comparison.

Another ad presents oil company revenue in simple dollar amounts, but not profit margin.  Selling price minus cost is profit. 

Neither the oil companies nor the Biden administration created the market conditions we have today. Supply chain issues have plagued oil demand response just like it has in almost every segment of the economy.

But, added to these issues is the drag this Progressive administration and ones before it have placed on the industry by being hostile to their efforts to increase supply, both of oil and of refining capacity to create fuel. 

Any idea when the last oil refinery was built? The last one of any capacity was in 1976 or ’77, depending on who you ask.  Just as much of American manufacturing has moved overseas because, in part, of the strangulation of environmental regulations, America has been outsourcing a good deal of supplying demand to overseas operators – like Saudi Arabia - so as to not offend the domestic environmental NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) coalition. 

This is a common problem for America’s self-interest when it comes to protecting herself from being hamstrung by foreign dependency on those resources that keep our economy running and contribute to us controlling our own security.  

In spite of how long we have been wrestling with mandates of federal environmental legislation government has yet to figure out how to build efficiency into their processes so as to execute them in a timely manner which would bring resource supplies on line more quickly.  

That impediment can be laid squarely at the feet of Senator Cortez-Masto’s party; the party of more and more onerous regulation.

Another thing is missing from the Cortez-Masto-supportive attacks against Laxalt: there are no solutions for anything. Attack “Big Oil”, blame everything that is wrong on climate change while accusing its sceptics of heresy or worse, but provide no solutions for the way people have to live right now because of government mismanagement. 

If Adam Laxalt is so influential as a lobbyist that he could manipulate the price of a global commodity like oil, or the refined fuels market, we would be missing a significant opportunity if we don’t elect him to represent Nevada interests. 

This isn’t an endorsement of Adam Laxalt.  I am not sure I like or trust the guy. He has done nothing that I know of to earn my vote.  

I just wish this information was coming from a group endorsing Laxalt’s candidacy, or even the candidate himself. 

Americans make poor decisions at the polls in part because candidates campaign but don’t educate. 

Laxalt has an opportunity to educate Nevada voters, and diffuse the Cortez-Masto attacks on this subject. Instead, silence.