Hannity’s Arizona “Town Hall” Puts Big Oil Lies on Primetime

PHOENIX, Ariz. – Tonight, Sean Hannity hosted a town hall with Kari Lake and Blake Masters to amplify some of Big Oil’s biggest lies ahead of the midterm elections. What was billed as a town hall to offer Arizonans an opportunity to learn more about where Republican candidates for governor and senate stand on key issues, was really an hour-long rant riddled with disinformation. 

This comes as Arizonans face record-high energy prices driven by corporate greed and price gouging, as well as the increasingly costly and devastating impacts of the climate crisis. Yet, neither Lake nor Masters offered any meaningful solutions to cut costs for working people or protect them against the changing climate. Instead, they spent an hour spreading fear and lies in hopes of tricking Arizonans into voting for out-of-touch candidates who care more about aiding and abetting wealthy Big Oil executives and their shareholders than ordinary people.

Here are some key moments from the town hall:

  • While Masters was quick to talk about high gas prices, he failed to mention that corporate greed is driving high gas prices. Fossil fuel executives and their wealthy shareholders are raking in record profits as Arizonans pay the price. Big Oil has made more than $210 billion just in the first six months of 2022 and another quarter of sky-high profits are expected starting next week.
  • Masters repeated one of Big Oil-backed Republicans’ favorite lies, the purported “war on energy.” He falsely alleged that Biden and Senator Kelly of “surrendered our energy independence by declaring a war on fossil fuels.”
    • The reality is, domestic energy production is at record highs. U.S. crude oil production has actually grown under President Biden and is projected to break annual production records by 2023. Natural gas production already set a new annual record in 2021 and hit a record for daily production in September 2022. 
  • Both Lake and Masters spent a significant amount of time dehumanizing immigrants and joking about the migrants who were sent to Martha’s Vineyard as part of a cruel political stunt. The immigration crisis is no joking matter – it is literally life and death for millions of families. Yet, Lake and Masters seem to relish in their own ignorance of a key root cause of mass migration: climate change
    • If Lake and Masters really want to reduce immigration, they should be leading the charge to combat climate change.
    • Reducing the emissions causing global warming will help reduce forced migration to the U.S., yet both Lake and Masters want to continue our dependence on fossil fuels.  

This so-called town hall left voters without answers to critical questions just two weeks from Election Day. Lake and Masters owe it to voters to answer the following questions related to climate action, lowering gas prices, and creating good-paying jobs in the already-booming clean energy industry:

  1. The Inflation Reduction Act, which you’ve labeled a “disaster,” is estimated to save the average Arizona homeowner 18.1% on their utility bills and invests over $4 billion in large-scale clean power generation and storage. What exactly is a “disaster” about lowering energy costs, addressing climate change, and creating millions of clean energy jobs?
  2. While Arizonans face sky-high prices at the pump, with gas in the Phoenix metro reaching more than $5 a gallon again, oil and gas companies are raking in tens of billions in record profits. Earlier this year, the U.S. House passed legislation prohibiting oil and gas companies from profiteering at the pump. Would you support similar price gouging legislation in the Senate?
  3. Arizona sits on the frontlines of the climate crisis as dangerous extreme heat and historic drought fuel devastating wildfires. Why do you think climate change is not a problem and repeatedly question its science?
  4. Clean energy industries are projected to see significant growth over the coming decade. How would you work to bring clean energy jobs to Arizona and ensure Arizonans are well-positioned to compete for these new jobs?
  5. Drought-stricken Arizona’s water crisis continues to sink to new levels with its biggest allotment from the Colorado River basin being cut another 21% next year. How would you assist Arizonans, particularly those whose livelihoods depend on water access, from these massive water cuts?
  6. From residents in southwest Phoenix experiencing adverse health impacts from toxic air pollution to tribal nations facing a severe shortage of clean water, marginalized communities across Arizona bear the brunt of environmental injustice. Do you support legislation like the Environmental Justice for All Act that addresses the disproportionate effects of federal laws and programs on communities of color, low-income communities, and tribal and indigenous communities?