By Jacob Solis


OPEC to continue pumping oil at current rates despite concerns over climate change

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries has vowed to continue producing oil at its current rate, according to The New York Times. That oil, expected to exceed 31 million barrels per day, will enter a market that is already oversaturated, and is expected to push oil prices even lower.

Currently, crude oil costs $41 per barrel internationally and $38 per barrel in the U.S. These prices are roughly half of what they were in 2014 and are at levels unseen since the Great Recession in 2008.

Thus far, OPEC’s strategy has been to make and sell as much oil as possible to combat the low prices and keep its economies afloat, but low-carbon mantras being adopted by most world leaders has put a damper on big oil producers. Moreover, OPEC’s decision to push for more oil comes right in the middle of the climate conference in Paris, where even the Arab gulf states have pledged to boost use of clean energy resources from 0.2 percent to 24 percent by 2021.

Other oil producers who are not in OPEC, such as Mexico and Russia, have felt a similar squeeze on oil profits. Like OPEC, these other producers have been forced to step up oil production as well. In the current climate, the vast oversupply of crude oil will likely keep global oil prices at their present low.


Justice Department to open investigation into Chicago Police

Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced Sunday that the Justice Department has opened an investigation into the Chicago Police Department’s use of force, especially deadly force. The announcement comes after a murder charge was leveled at officer Jason Van Dyke following the 2014 shooting of Laquan McDonald.

Though Van Dyke shot McDonald in October of 2014, Chicago police only released the dashcam footage of the shooting in November of this year after receiving a court order. The footage depicted Van Dyke shooting McDonald 16 times as McDonald attempted to walk away from the police. The video contradicted Van Dyke’s initial report, which called McDonald “a very serious threat to the officers” who refused to comply with orders to drop his knife.

Chicago’s Police Superintendent Garry F. McCarthy was fired a week after the videos were released, and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has been under increased scrutiny from activists who feel authorities were attempting to cover up the incident.


New highway bill provides funding for Reno-Vegas highway extension

Congress passed a $305-billion highway bill on Friday that includes federal funds for the proposed Interstate 11, which would link Reno and Las Vegas, according to the Reno Gazette-Journal.

While specifics of the plan remain murky, state officials are optimistic. Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., called the bill a boon for the state as it provides critical infrastructure that would otherwise be unavailable to the state.

Jacob Solis can be reached at and on Twitter @TheSagebrush.