NBC Repeats Incorrect Claim That Gas At 'All-Time High'
Gas prices at an ‚Äúall-time high‚ÄĚ was the attention-getting tease from the July 24 ‚ÄúToday‚ÄĚ show. NBC used it to promote a segment on saving money by switching from premium gas. But it wasn‚Äôt premium coverage. Regular unleaded prices aren‚Äôt at record highs, either for the past year or when adjusted for inflation.
NBC relied upon a new report by oil analyst Trilby Lundberg to justify his ‚Äúrecord price‚ÄĚ assertion. Bloomberg News used similar language in a July 23 articled that reported the ‚Äúaverage pump price beat a record set last September by less than a cent.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúThe average price nationwide for regular gasoline unleaded is now just above $3.01 a gallon. Now according to the Lundberg Survey of gas stations across the country that is an all-time high,‚ÄĚ substitute anchor David Gregory insisted before telling viewers.
Gregory left out how AAA and the U.S. Department of Energy don‚Äôt agree. Both AAA‚Äôs Fuel Gauge Report and the Energy Information Agency (EIA) recorded a lower nationwide average and also point out that the record high is higher than the current price.
AAA reported the average for regular unleaded as $2.989 as of July 24. The EIA arrived at the same average in their last weekly survey published July 17. According to AAA, the highest recorded nominal gas price was shortly after Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf coast. The average non-inflation adjusted price on Sep. 5, 2005, at $3.057.
When adjusted for inflation, Gregory‚Äôs claim moves even further off the mark. According to the Energy Information Agency (EIA) gas prices would have to reach $3.12 to meet the high set in March 1981.