Trump’s $50 trillion figure a blatant “alternative fact”

Tonight, when President Donald Trump speaks to Congress, he will certainly provide members of the Fourth Estate with ample opportunities to hold him accountable for using false information to justify his policy agenda.

We’ll throw another log on the Trumpster fire:

$50 trillion (with a “t.”) That’s the worth of the untapped oil and natural gas the President may well claim is under American land, just waiting to fund his infrastructure bill, cover military spending increases, or pay down the national debt.

That number comes from a book written by rumored Council on Environmental Quality nominee Kathleen Hartnett White, on Regnery Publishing, whose motto is “Great Conservative Books. Great Conservative Authors.” Other authors featured by the publisher include leading energy economist Ted Nugent.

Ms. Hartnett White arrived at that figure thanks to an “editing error,” according to the free market think tank American Action Forum, who observe that the actual value is likely to be as much as 13 times lower.

As you can see from this excerpt, the methods Ms. Hartnett White used to arrive at this figure may as well have been drawn up on the back of a cocktail napkin.

$50 trillion would be nice to have around, but unfortunately the President has been misled (again) by fake news. We hope you hold him to account if this figure comes up again tonight.

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