This is the newsletter of OptOut, a free news aggregation app for exclusively independent media that's available for iPhone and iPad. The Android version will be out as soon as possible. Find out more about the app at optout.news.
This week the OptOut independent news network came together to hold the legacy and corporate media accountable for their decades-long complicity with big polluters.
More than 20 outlets and news leaders signed on to an op-ed written by Popula founder Maria Bustillos and me, featuring original reporting by climate journalist Amy Westervelt (DRILLED) and video production by Spencer Snyder. We published it in this newsletter and our website, and a number of other participants including POPULA, SLUDGE, DRILLED, COUNTERPUNCH, DISCOURSE BLOG, WELCOME TO HELL WORLD, RIFT MAGAZINE, and POWER AND POP CULTURE co-published. THE RATIONAL NATIONAL put out a great analysis of what we uncovered.
Here's the video. Watch this to learn about the origin of the advertorial, a collaboration between Mobil Oil and The New York Times to boost the brand of the major polluter and the paper's profits.
This kind of vital issue is THE reason we created the OptOut network and app. People like you need a news ecosystem you can trust—without financial conflicts of interest, corporate bias, fealty to government sources, and false equivalence. Over almost two years, we're proud to say that our network is now 150 outlets strong and still growing, and nearly 8,000 devices have downloaded our iOS app.
Announcement: the Android App
Many of you have been patiently waiting for the Android version of the OptOut News app. I want to give you an update:
We submitted our finished Android app to the Google Play Store, and the approval process is taking much longer than we hoped. We're doing all we can to convince the robots over at Android that our app complies with their policies. It's not an easy task, it turns out, but we will get this thing out as soon as we possibly can!
We decided to release the iOS app first because of an early survey of this newsletters' recipients; the majority were iPhone users. We're a scrappy group of volunteers and contractors, so things can take time, and we wanted to get an app out the door sooner rather than later. We never expected or intended for it to take this long to get our Android app online.
To get an update when the Android version is ready for download, sign up here and in the second step choose "Android Release Alerts."
Your Independent News Roundup
This week's roundup focuses on climate change and includes additional news and analysis of additional recent Supreme Court decisions and other topics.
More on Climate
Here's what else is going on with climate change and Big Oil.
In DRILLED, Westervelt analyzes the Supreme Court's decision in West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a preemptive decision blocking the Biden administration from enacting the Clean Power Plan without congressional approval. It doesn't restrict the EPA from regulating greenhouse gas emissions in general, but the decision's rationale does not bode well for those interested in, you know, making sure profit-driven corporations don't get to do every single thing they want, no matter the human cost.
What the reference here makes very clear is that the justices plan to keep invoking “major questions” doctrine in their effort to dismantle the “administrative state,” which includes every federal agency that drafts and enforces regulations based on laws passed by Congress.
The Biden administration sure is sending mixed messages about the importance of decreasing greenhouse gas emissions. Being on the climate-friendly side of the SCOTUS case didn't stop it, four days after the decision, from proposing up to 10 new oil and gas drilling sites in the Gulf of Mexico and one off the coast of Alaska. (The proposal is now open for public comment and could result in anywhere from 0 to 11 new sites.)
Biden wants to lower gas prices (this won't happen quickly) and decrease our reliance on foreign oil (see: Europe and Russia), but might a managed decline (see the video below) of the oil industry plus big investments in renewable energy solve these problems, and slow climate change, not worsen it?
The NEW JERSEY MONITOR published this piece produced by STATES NEWSROOM.
The ALASKA BEACON explains what the proposed drill site would mean there.
Speaking of gas, are the currently high prices inevitable because of Russia's war in Ukraine, the U.S.'s rocky relationship with Saudi Arabia, and unstoppable inflation? Perhaps somewhat, but the GRAVEL INSTITUTE has an informative video showing that the high prices are due in part to fossil fuel investors pressuring oil and gas companies not to expand production so they can make more—or, at least, lose less—money.
At OptOut, we are committed to bringing you independent news coverage of today's most important issues, including climate change. The uncompromising news outlets in our network give you honest reporting and diverse perspectives while critiquing the dominant narratives that the corporate and legacy media produce.
OptOut is a nonprofit charity, and we are raising funds that will allow us to become a sustainable organization. Please consider donating $5/month or $55/year, or making a one-time donation to the OptOut Media Foundation, to help us succeed. Join us in our mission to elevate independent media and accurately inform the public!
In Other News
For IN THESE TIMES, Hamilton Nolan argues that in these dire times, pragmatism has no place.
On a normal day, you wouldn’t dive out of a fifth floor window into the river below — but if your building was on fire, that would become the most reasonable choice. What was once radical can quickly become rational, when the world is burning.
THE RED NATION PODCAST brings another troubling Supreme Court ruling under the microscope.
The Supreme Court recently ruled against Tribal sovereignty in Oklahoma v. Castro-Huerta. Cherokee journalist Rebecca Nagle talks about the broader implications of this decision and what it means for future legal battles.
You can also listen to this program wherever you get your podcasts, including of the OptOut iOS app!
In yet another rough Supreme Court ruling, it's actually ok to combine church and state—at least, if you want to do a Christian prayer before a football game. Dave Zirin, THE NATION's sports editor, talks with host Janine Jackson on COUNTERSPIN, the podcast of FAIR, about what this decision means.
After Roe v. Wade's demise, women need digital privacy more than ever. On THE BITCHUATION ROOM, host Francesca Fiorentini talks with Laurie Bertram Roberts, executive director of the Yellowhammer Fund, about the issue.
Why are there so many LGBTQ people in prison? RATTLING THE BARS podcast host Mansa Musa speaks with New York historian Hugh Ryan to explain the phenomenon.
In the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson was forced to step down as prime minister because of a series of scandals. Why can't the U.S. have that same level of accountability, asks Sasha Abramsky in THE NATION—a recent addition to the OptOut ranks!
We're living in tough times, so this newsletter can be a downer. But there are some potential positives around the bend, too. In PROGRESS REPORT, Jordan Zakarin writes that important issues are on the ballots in several states, and activists are motivated.
In other good news if you don't want Trump and leading neo-Nazis back on Twitter, you might be in luck: Elon Musk backed out of his deal to buy the social media platform, plus he's in legal trouble. Here's THE RATIONAL NATIONAL:
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Thanks as always for supporting the independent OptOut news network! See you soon.
The OptOut Media Foundation (EIN: 85-2348079) is a nonprofit charity with a mission to educate the public about current events and help sustain a diverse media ecosystem by promoting and assisting independent news outlets and, in doing so, advance democracy and social justice.