Last month, Fox News star Tucker Carlson sounded the alarm over the dwindling diesel fuel reserves in the United States, warning his millions of viewers that “by the Monday of Thanksgiving week” there would be “no more diesel” and “everything will stop.”
Well, it’s been 25 days and not only has the United States not run out of diesel fuel, but it has slightly expanded its reserves while the price of diesel has dropped.
During the Oct. 27 broadcast of Tucker Carlson Tonight, the primetime host launched into a lengthy monologue blaming President Joe Biden’s “jihad” against Russia for bringing the United States on the cusp of a supposed collapse. The U.S. had less than a month to fix a looming energy crisis, the Fox host warned.
“Thanks to the Biden administration’s religious war in Ukraine, this country is about to run out of diesel fuel,” Carlson breathlessly exclaimed. “According to data from the Energy Information Administration by the Monday of Thanksgiving week—that’s 25 days from now—there will be no more diesel. What’s going to happen then? Well, everything will stop. That means trucks and trains and barges all unable to move.”
Painting a scene straight out of Mad Max, Carlson continued to assert that “farm equipment will shut down,” deliveries of goods would cease “because there’ll be no trucks,” and “our economy will crash because everything runs on diesel fuel.”
At one point, he nonsensically blamed transgender people for the apparent energy shortage.
“The problem is at this point, there may not be an answer because there may not be a way to avoid a disaster,” the far-right cable news host proclaimed. “Diesel fuel is not just low in this country. It’s low in every Western nation that is aligned itself with Ukraine. All these nations preparing for ‘World War Trans’ are running out of diesel fuel.”
He concluded: “This is a joke. The truth is these people are bumping right smack up against reality, and here’s the reality: We have 25 days to avert economic catastrophe. Catastrophe is what will happen if we run out of diesel fuel. That’s more important than prosecuting a jihad in Ukraine. It’s more important than ‘World War Trans.’ Everything depends on this, and we’ve got 25 days to fix it.”
It is true that at the time of Carlson’s fear-stoking monologue, the EIA revealed that the United States had 25.9 days’ worth of diesel fuel supply in storage. However, either through a fundamental misunderstanding of the data or a typically bad-faith reading of it, Carlson’s declaration didn’t take into account that U.S. refineries would continue to stockpile diesel fuel.
“We will not run out of diesel in 25 days unless we simply stopped producing or importing and drew down inventory. I know of no government agency predicting the country will run out of diesel by Thanksgiving,” Houston-based oil expert Andy Lipow told fact-checking outlet Verify last month.
Patrick De Haan, the petroleum analysis chief for tech company GasBuddy, also told Verify last month that it was “completely inaccurate” that the diesel fuel supply would dry up in 25 days, noting that the figure is “used as an industry benchmark to look at overall supply and demand balances.”
De Haan explained that the shrinking number marked how refiners had “kind of been losing the battle of supply and demand” and that’s “why that number has gently fallen.” Additionally, he said that while the supply was “very tight” and has put the system “under strain,” the U.S. wasn’t “yet to the point where people are going to notice widespread disruptions.”
Furthermore, over the past decade, the nation has repeatedly seen its diesel reserve dip below 30 days and even come close to the 25-day mark. As recently as November 2019, for instance, the EIA showed the supply down to 26.5 days—only for it to increase rapidly in the subsequent weeks.
In the past two weeks, meanwhile, the United States’ diesel reserve has increased to 26.6 days—and the price has dropped six cents in the last seven days (though it is still near record highs).
With Monday marking 25 days since Carlson ominously warned that the United States would be on the verge of economic catastrophe, De Haan took to Twitter to call out the Fox star for his completely wrong prediction.
“It’s been 25 days since @TuckerCarlson reported that we’d run out of diesel in 25.9 days… and we have actually more diesel then we did when his wildly inaccurate report ran on Oct. 28,” he tweeted.
Reps for Tucker Carlson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.