Background Briefing: February 8, 2022


Big Oil Representatives a No-Show a House Oversight Hearing Today

We begin with hearings today before the House Oversight and Reform Committee at which oil company board members failed to show up to answer questions about big oil’s “greenwashing” as they publicly claim to be concerned about climate change while increasing drilling leading a climate scientist who testified today to remark that it is like shifting to low fat potato chips but eating twice as much of them. Joining us is Chris McGreal, a senior writer for the Guardian US and a former correspondent in Jerusalem and Johannesburg. He has published several articles on the opioid epidemic in America and his latest book is American Overdose: The Opioid Tragedy in Three Acts. We discuss his article at The Guardian “ALEC is Driving Laws to Blacklist Companies That Boycott the Oil Industry” and whether laws pre-packaged by ALEC passed in Texas and about to be passed in West Virginia, Indiana and Oklahoma to block boycotts of the oil industry will be able to stop big Wall Street asset managers like Blackrock from divesting in oil as has already happened with coal.


Should Biden Negotiate Like Putin?

Then we examine Putin’s negotiating and diplomatic skills with a former profiler of world leaders for the State Department who spent 5 years in Moscow. Joining us is Dr. Kenneth Dekleva, who served as a Regional Medical Officer/Psychiatrist with the U.S. Dept. of State from 2002-2016, and is currently a Senior Fellow at the George HW Bush Foundation for US-China Relations. We discuss his article at The Cipher Brief, “Negotiate Like Putin.”


Has Boris Johnson Just Gone One Scandal Too Far?

Then finally we look into British PM Boris Johnson’s latest scandal which has prompted his long-serving close aide to resign and may be the final straw in terms of his own party wanting to rid themselves of this embarrassment that refuses to apologize for his increasingly outrageous behavior and statements. Joining us is Rob Ford, a Professor of Political Science at the University of Manchester in the U.K. whose research focuses on areas of public opinion, electoral choice and party politics. He is the author of Revolt on the Right which examined the rise of the UK Independence Party.