Here is what Americans this week were told counted as “news”: Jared Kushner’s past meetings. Russians. James Comey’s upcoming testimony. Russians. Hillary Clinton’s latest conspiracy theories. Russians. Bob Mueller’s as-yet-nonexistent investigation (into Russians). Kathy Griffin, Mr. Met and, of course, “covfefe.” Total words printed on these subjects? At least a duodecillion.
Here’s what actually happened this week, the “news” that holds real consequences for real Americans:
- Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke signed an order to begin reopening Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve to oil and gas exploration, reversing the Obama administration’s ideologically driven 2013 shutdown. The order even aims at opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to production—a move that is decades overdue. This could not only buck up the listless Alaskan economy but cement the U.S. as an oil and gas powerhouse.
- In related news, the Dakota Access Pipeline finally went live…
- Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross surprisingly said that he was open to completing the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP, a far-reaching trade agreement being negotiated with the European Union.