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Is Russia Funding Green Opposition to Fracking?

That’s what NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen is claiming. The Secretary General told an audience at Chatham House in London that, in an effort to stymie its western customers’ ability to diversify away from Gazprom gas, Moscow has supported a misinformation campaign against fracking in Europe. The Guardian reports:

Rasmussen said: “I have met allies who can report that Russia, as part of their sophisticated information and disinformation operations, engaged actively with so-called non-governmental organisations – environmental organisations working against shale gas – to maintain European dependence on imported Russian gas.”

The treaty organization’s press office was quick to point out that Rasmussen’s comments reflected his personal opinion and were not part of any official NATO policy. But Rasmussen may be saying what many are already thinking, as another NATO official seemed to corroborate this belief in a confidential interview with the FT:

A Nato official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the Financial Times that the alliance believed Russia was engaged in “a campaign of disinformation on many issues, including energy”.

“The potential for Russia using energy supplies as a means of putting pressure on European nations is a matter of concern. No country should use supply and pricing terms as tools of coercion,” they said. “We share a concern by some allies that Russia could try to obstruct possible projects on shale gas exploration in Europe in order to maintain Europe’s reliance on Russian gas.”

Europe’s policymakers seem much more keen to agitate for access to America’s shale gas glut than they are to jump-start production of their own domestic reserves. Whether or not Russia is fomenting anti-fracking sentiment across Russia isn’t clear, but they’re certainly benefiting from it. More reliant customers are also more pliant neighbors.

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  • Fat_Man

    So are the Gulf States. Remember how they bought Al Gore’s failed TV network for a bazillion dollars? Well that was a payoff for his work in opposing energy development.

    • Corlyss

      Al Jazeera America is much more interesting and informative than regular broadcast and cable news. I’m wondering how long AJA can keep it up.

  • Andrew Allison

    Why wouldn’t they do something so obviously in their interests?

    • Corlyss

      Frankly I didn’t think they were that smart. But why not? All those years they funded the cretins in the “youth” movements seeking to replace mean ol’ capitalism with warm fuzzy totalitarianism. When the Soviet Union failed, and all those cretins had no political movement to lash themselves to, they moved into the Green movement and turned it from hippies running nekid in the woods to corporate-style shakedown artists like Robert Kennedy Jr.

      If they are funding the opposition, along with Soros and the Big Money from Silly-con Valley, I doff my chapeau to ’em. It would make the Greens’ anti-prosperity agenda much more obvious to those who think AGW is science-based.

  • Gene

    Your final sentence, “More reliant customers are also more pliant neighbors,” can easily be adapted to offer useful lessons of all kinds. One good example: “More reliant citizens are also more pliant voters.”

    • Corlyss

      Dhimmitude by another name.

  • f1b0nacc1

    Yes, next question?

    • Corlyss

      Classic succinctness.

  • Boritz

    During the 60s the far Right conservatives accused the KGB of promoting campus unrest in the US. Ridiculous! said the Left and Nonsense! When Boris Yeltsin opened the files over 20 years later it was found to be true. Assume they are guilty until proven otherwise.

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