This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," March 15, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: And President Obama playing a bit of defense today, the president taking aim at critics who blame him for soaring gas prices. The GOP presidential candidates argue the U.S. needs a big increase in domestic oil drilling to reduce gas prices. So what does the president -- what does President Obama say to that?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Under my administration, America is producing more oil today than at any time in the last eight years.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
OBAMA: That's a fact. That's a fact. We've quadrupled the number of operating oil rigs to a record high. So do not tell me that we're not drilling. We're drilling all over this country.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
OBAMA: I mean, I guess there are -- there are a few spots where we're not drilling. We're not drilling in the National Mall.
OBAMA: We're not drilling at your house.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAN SUSTEREN: Does President Obama have his facts straight? Jonathan Strong from Roll Call joins us and is our fact checker tonight. So you heard the president speak. Does he have his facts right about the drilling and -- during his administration?
JONATHAN STRONG, ROLL CALL: The speech included a series of technically true but misleading statements. So the president is kind of correct in the sense that his policies aren't causing the current increase in gas prices because drilling takes a long time to come on line. It's a long-term process. And oil production is at the highest rate it has been at any time in the last eight years.
VAN SUSTEREN: So he's right about that, right?
VAN SUSTEREN: OK, so why is that misleading when he says that?
STRONG: Because when he says "under my administration," he's implying that it's because of policies that he's enacted as president. But actually, the policies that he's had a role in have decreased drilling on federal lands.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, so -- and so the impact is that a net increase of oil production, but he's taking credit for basically something that was done that predated him.
STRONG: Well, and it's kind of like the drill -- the oil production has increased in spite of his policies, not because of them. And so he -- in the speech, he's also saying, you know, drilling is at its highest rate, but that is also not why gas prices have increased. He's trying to take credit for something that he says has nothing to do with the price of gas.
VAN SUSTEREN: I'm always a bit curious why someone would do that. Because the last thing you want to do is get caught with your pants down. I mean, if you're going to go around and brag about something, you better make sure that, you know, people aren't going to be out there fact checking you.
STRONG: Well, this issue is one that -- it becomes very technical and complicated when you try to get down to the numbers. And so there's a lot of hot hair air on both side of the aisle.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, so where's the hot air on the other side?
VAN SUSTEREN: I mean, where -- where are people misleading about President Obama, then?
STRONG: Like, the Keystone pipeline, OK? Whether you agree with that decision or not, it just happened. It's something that would come on line, you know, in months or years from now. The supply impact is not causing the current increase in gas prices. It would eventually impact the price of gas on the margin. More supply causes the price to come down.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, well, I have a little -- another gripe about Keystone that I can't understand why people aren't talking about. It's this, is that when the idea of Keystone was proposed, they had to do an environmental impact statement. So they went to Transcanada, the company that wanted to build the pipeline, and they said, You find someone to do an environmental impact statement so that we can make a decision based on that.
So Transcanada went out and found one of their buddies, someone they're doing business with, basically sent the fox out to guard the chicken coop. They had an environmental impact study done. The impact study came back saying that we should -- that we should do the pipeline.
They realized that, Oh, my God, we can't have -- we can't someone do the environmental impact statement who's in tight with the producer. So whoever made that original decision wasted a lot of time, a lot of money, and now we've got this huge -- this huge fight.
STRONG: Right. At the same time, you know, these environmental impact statements are very rigorous and thorough. And sometimes...
VAN SUSTEREN: But they should be done -- they should be done with a sense of confidence that it's not by a company that has an interesting in its outcome.
STRONG: You're saying there's an appearance of impropriety there.
VAN SUSTEREN: I am certainly saying there's -- there's appearance of impropriety, and anyone who had half a brain would have noticed that in the beginning.
STRONG: Right. No. I mean, I think that's a fair point.
VAN SUSTEREN: And so now -- the consequence we're now having to do another environmental impact statement. We're back to square one, and now we have an incredible political fight.
STRONG: Right. Well, another interesting thing from the speech today, though, is Obama spent some time mocking politicians who press conferences at gas stations during election season, promising that they'll cause gas prices to go down. But almost four years ago to the day, he did that exact thing. So I mean, I just think there was a lot of misleading statements in this speech today.
VAN SUSTEREN: And of course, the American people just sit by and hope that someday we don't get the misleading, we get the straight story. Anyway, that's our job. Jonathan, thank you.
STRONG: Thank you.
VAN SUSTEREN: President Obama says they are drilling and drilling plenty, but Republican members of Congress insist it is not enough. They also accuse the president of playing politics with energy policy.