Interview with Steve Horn, investigative journalist
My guest is journalist Steve Horn. Welcome back to OpEdNews, Steve.
JB: We spoke very recently about President Obama, the Keystone XL Pipeline and the fact that his veto did nothing to stop the majority of the Keystone Pipeline System in its tracks: Obama's Keystone XL Pipeline Veto Just Smoke and Mirrors? [12/8/2015]. Now we're back and I have a feeling it's not with good news. What's on your mind, Steve?
SH: Well, firstly, great to be back with you and appreciate the opportunity to talk to you and your readers at OpEdNews. Thanks for having me again.
Secondly, it's almost never good news in the world of energy, climate and the environment. I'm consistently the "bearer of bad news," but, then again, so are most people who do this beat unless they're telling fairy tales. It's a scary time to be alive on this planet, given the climate change impacts we've already locked in for decades to come.
But to do the hard work of answering your real question, it's definitely bad news I'm here to present you and your readers with. That is, during the Paris climate summit convened by the United Nations, President Obama and Congress signed into law a bill that expedites permitting for oil and gas pipelines and other critical fossil fuel-related infrastructure within the U.S. This comes of course weeks after he claimed he nixed Keystone XL (when all he did was nixed the northern leg of it) and of course in the midst of a climate summit at the end of which he and his surrogates in the White House and State Department claimed the U.S. displayed climate "leadership" in Paris.
Global leaders at the United Nations climate summit in Paris; Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Adding injury to insult, that bill Obama signed into law now codifies the Executive Order he issued to expedite building the southern leg of Keystone XL back in 2012. Most don't realize that Order was issued on the same day as another one that expedited the permitting process for all oil and gas pipelines in the U.S. It's what I've called the "Keystone XL trade-off" in some of my previous investigative journalism.
Not such a "happy new year" gift if you care about the future of our planet, is it?
JB: I don't even know where to begin, Steve. i'm flabbergasted by the collective chutzpah of Congress and the president. Isn't it the timing bizarre and demonstrating, once again, the height of cynicism? I just don't get it. Do they think the American public wouldn't notice? Or don't care?
SH: You hit the nail on the head! Who pays attention to 1,000+-page bills during the peak of the holiday season? Most people are paying attention to $1,000+ travel bills accrued by paying for travel for family coming into town and that sort of thing during this time, not sifting through legislation.
But two quotes come to mind for this story that encompass the work I did for it and the ethos involved in making it happen:
1.) "Laws are like sausages, it is better not to see them being made." - Otto von Bismarck