Here are the statements to fact-check from the June 20, 2010 episode of Meet the Press.
Transcript | Video

If you can help us research them please either email us or (preferably) post your work in the comments below. (Anonymity is fine) Also let us know how long you spent researching each fact, we will be tracking it. The success of Meet the Facts depends on the crowd-sourcing of people like you, please help if you can!

Statements are listed in chronological order

REP. ED MARKEY (D-MA) | [Confirm existence of document]

REP. ED MARKEY (D-MA):  Right now, again, we’re dependent upon BP and the execution of their capacity to be able to put a cap over this well.  I actually have a document that shows that BP actually believes it could go upwards of 100,000 barrels per day, which would be about four million barrels a day.

SEN. MARY LANDRIEU (D-LA) | Canada deliberately spills oil in water to practice their clean up efforts.

SEN. LANDRIEU: I learned this week that Canada and–as one country, for instance–does spills into their water to practice in the event that this would happen.

JOHN HOFMEISTER | Jones Act prevents use of foreign ships from assisting with the oil spill cleanup.
REP. ED MARKEY (D-MA) | Jones Act does not prevent use of foreign ships from assisting with the oil spill cleanup.

MR. HOFMEISTER:  Well, there’s a Jones Act that gets in the way.  The Jones Act, decades-long enforced, prevents foreign ships from operating in domestic waters.
MR. GREGORY:  Mm-hmm.
MR. HOFMEISTER:  It would have to have a waiver.  There was a waiver after Katrina to help do whatever needed to be done.  There should be a waiver now. This is a unique, unprecedented situation.  The U.S. hasn’t made supertankers in–ever.  Supertankers have always been made in foreign shipbuilding yards.  And we need to bring that kind of scale to bear, in my opinion.
MR. GREGORY:  Congressman, you’re shaking your head.  You don’t…
REP. MARKEY:  The, the Jones Act, the Jones Act does not apply to situations like this, emergency situations, relief situations.
MR. GREGORY:  You should be able to get those ships in there right away.


1) The Mississippi government recruited 1163 vessels to help with spill cleanup.
2) Coast Guard communications issues prevented the use of those vessels [ED NOTE: is that what he was saying?]

GOV. BARBOUR:  Yeah, David, I was just, I was–well, I was just going to say, Senator Landrieu made a point earlier about command and control, which has been a huge problem.  We recruited 1,200–1,163 vessels to work on our spill, designed a multilayered plan to start defending our shores 20 miles south of the barrier islands.  And then, unfortunately, the Coast Guard told us weeks later, “Well, we don’t have a way to communicate with those vessels.  We don’t have a way to identify even where they are, and so we’ve been relying for about three weeks on a system that existed but couldn’t be executed.” To their credit, in the last two weeks the Coast Guard has, has, has corrected that or begun the correction of that.

DAVID GREGORY (NBC) | Obama made a promise to leave the Gulf Coast (of Gulf of Mexico) in better shape than it was before the oil spill. [ED NOTE: Statement is listed because it seems possibly unclear, from the quote used, whether Obama was actually promising or making a statement of belief.]

MR. GREGORY:  Can I have you respond ultimately, Governor, to the sense of what government is capable of here?  Because that’s what people are really thinking about in the long term.  Here’s what the president said.  He issued a promise when he was in Alabama, Theodore, Alabama, this week.  Let’s listen to that.
(Videotape, Monday)
PRES. BARACK OBAMA:  We are going to do everything we can 24/7 to make sure that communities get back on their feet.  And in the end, I am confident that we’re going to be able to leave the Gulf Coast in better shape than it was before.
(End videotape)
MR. GREGORY:  “In better shape than it was before.” That caught my eye and my team because we went back to 2005, President Bush speaking in New Orleans, and this is among the promises he made.

GOV. HALEY BARBOUR (R-MS) | The $20 billion BP has promised is broken up into $5 billion increments over a period of four years.

GOV. BARBOUR:  Right.  Well, I thought that they were talking about taking $20 billion from BP all at once, and my fear was if you took $20 billion from them all at once, put it in an escrow account, then they wouldn’t have the working capital to generate the revenue to pay us.  I think the president was smart, and I congratulate him and BP that they reached an agreement.  Instead of $20 billion taken out of that working capital all at once, it’s actually going to be $5 billion this year, $5 billion the next year, $5 billion the following year and $5 billion the fourth year.


1) Oil industry had said that the risks of an oil rig ever sinking were zero [%].
2) Oil industry had said that they had the capacity to handle a spill of up to 250,000 barrels a day.

REP. MARKEY:  I, I agree with you.  When an agency responsible for safety turns into a lapdog and not a watchdog, then, unfortunately, boosterism creates complacency, and complacency leads to disaster.  It happened in the financial sector.  Goldman Sachs and Bear Stearns and AIG, they all said, “There’s no risk with derivatives and credit default swaps.  Don’t worry.” And it created a financial disaster.  The same thing was true here.  The industry said that the risks of a rig ever sinking were zero.  Their capacity to handle a spill up to 250,000 barrels per day was absolute.  None of it was true.  And so, if you allow this risk to be built into the system, then it’s ordinary families’ financial and health and well-being which is affected, and the government has to play the role of protecting ordinary people against the short-term financial goals of companies that are going to assure the public that everything is safe.


1) 30% of US domestic oil production comes from Gulf of Mexico.
2) 80% of Gulf of Mexico US oil production comes from deepwater wells.
3) 25% of US domestic oil production comes from deepwater wells in the Gulf of Mexico.

GOV. BARBOUR:  Well, the moratorium.  The skill–the spill’s a terrible thing, but the moratorium is a, is a terrible thing that’s not only bad for the region, it’s bad for America.  Thirty percent of the oil produced in the United States comes out of the Gulf of Mexico, and 80 percent of that is from deepwater drilling.  So that’s a fourth of all of our oil.

GOV. HALEY BARBOUR (R-MS) | President Obama told a San Francisco newspaper that under his cap and trade plan, electricity plans [rates] would necessarily skyrocket.

GOV. BARBOUR:  As President Obama said, under–he told a San Francisco paper, and I quote, “Under my cap and trade plan, electricity rates will necessarily skyrocket.” One of the things President Obama and I agree on.

REP. ED MARKEY (D-MA) | Gov. Barbour’s Obama quote was from three years ago.

REP. MARKEY:  The governor is wrong.  And the governor is using something that then Senator Obama said three years ago, not the Waxman-Markey Bill along with senator–along with Speaker Pelosi that we passed through the House last year.  What we do is we create a, a program of market-based incentives so that we move towards wind and solar, towards geothermal, towards biomass, towards plug-in hybrids, towards all-electric vehicles; efficiency, doubling the efficiency of the homes and the, and the buildings that we work in; moving in a way that captures the innovation, captures the science lead that we have on the rest of our country.  And over time it will actually lead to lower electricity, lower energy bills for our country.  We only have 2 percent of the oil reserves in the world, and we consume 25 percent of the world’s oil on a daily basis.  That is nonsustainable.  Either we have this technological revolution going forward while we keep the oil and gas and coal that we have, but unless we unleash this market-based revolution and make it possible for us to back out the oil from OPEC, make sure China isn’t selling all of these new products to us…

Did we miss something? Let us know!

If you can help us research them please either email us or (preferably) post your work in the comments below. Also also let us know how long you spent researching each fact.


Identifying and posting these statements took 2 hours.