Monday, October 01, 2012

Is Russia Bankrolling Anti-Fracking Groups?

...industry watchers in Europe already believe Russia is bankrolling environmental groups that are loudly opposing plans for fracking in Europe, which could cut down on Russia's natural gas market.

"I've heard a lot of rumors that the Russians were funding this. I have no proof whatsoever," she said, noting that many critics give the rumors credence because Gazprom owns media companies throughout Russia and Europe that have run stories examining the environmental risks of fracking....

...Hill, of the Brookings think tank, heard President Vladimir Putin speak in late 2011 at a Moscow gathering of academics and media. She said in a blog post that "the only time I thought that he became truly engaged was when he wanted to explain to us how dangerous fracking was." _Newsvine
Fracking is very dangerous to the future of Gazprom profits, and the ability of Russia to fund its mafia-style, big-boss government. No wonder Putin gets so worked up about it.

But the scientific evidence overwhelmingly suggests that hydraulic fracking is both safe and environmentally sound.

So what are we left with? Once you get outside of Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia is clearly a nation in decline -- due to its inability to get away from a Tsarist style of hyper-centralised top-down government. Even worse, this top-heavy government is both overly dependent upon one industry -- energy -- and utterly corrupt in the way that cash from the energy industry flows.

Gazprom is trying to reverse its stance 180 degrees, now claiming publicly that it will profit from the global spread of North American hydraulic fracking and horizontal drilling. But that seems to be Gazprom's version of "whistling past the graveyard," a very common activity in Russia these days.

The greatest danger from Russia's seemingly inevitable slow motion economic and demographic collapse, is the amount of devastation that Russia could cause around the world, should the declining bear go rogue in a genuinely loose cannon manner.

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