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Crude Language
Venezuela Fights American Shale with Profanity

Caracas can’t be the first to draw the comparison between the colloquial term for hydraulic fracturing and a somewhat similar-sounding curse word, but it is worth noting that the country’s ruling Socialist party is promoting an exhibit criticizing the American shale boom for its effects on the environment. Reuters reports:

Venezuela is not mincing words with a new exhibition titled “F—ing Fracking” that denounces the environmental toll of hydraulic fracturing in the United States. […]

The event features speeches by an economist and oil expert, and will wrap up with a play, according to a half-page advertisement in newspaper Ultimas Noticias.

The ad depicts a fractured heart dripping with black oil with dried up leaves coming from the arteries.

It’s easy to understand why Venezuela is unhappy with American shale production. After all, the flood of new crude coming out of the U.S. has contributed to the global oversupply that has led to the precipitous fall in oil prices, which has crippled Venezuela’s economy. Before the price crash, Caracas needed an oil price of at least $122 per barrel to balance its budget, and with crude now hovering around $60 per barrel, Venezuela is hurtling toward default.

But while it publicly blames the United States for innovating its way back into relevance as one of the world’s biggest crude suppliers, privately Venezuela might be more concerned with its fellow OPEC member Saudi Arabia, which has insisted on not cutting production in response to the price slide, essentially consigning its fellow petrostates to budget crises while it weathers the storm on the back of an enormous sovereign wealth fund in a bid for market share. Surely Maduro has some four-letter words reserved for Riyadh as well.

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  • Dan Greene

    So did TAI highlight Victoria Nuland’s “F*** the EU” profanity in this way? Somehow, I doubt it.

    • Tom

      It did, actually.

      • Dan Greene
      • Anthony

        Tom, rather than ratify a strident and definitely self- serving and bias comment engage directly; perhaps Big Voodoo Daddy may have given insight though high brow respondents shunned ratifying… (and this reply has nothing to do with this post or replies – you know of what I write). It not about like Tom or commiseration.

        • Tom

          Shall I let such go unanswered, thereby ratifying it by silence? It is not for Dan’s sake that I argue.

          • Anthony

            No, no , no Tom. I am referencing another post with another party and upvoting sans context – I will never endorse ratifying by silence (and I only intervened here because this was your most reason update).

  • OdinsAcolyte

    They made that up.
    In Texas we are not allowed to treat the environment like, say, Californians do in their oil fields.

  • Andrew Allison

    It’s worse than it looks: Venezuelan oil production declined 30% between 1997 and 2011, so they’re getting half the price on less production.

  • Frank Natoli

    Don’t forget there’s close to one trillion barrels of conventionally extractable oil waiting under Alaska ANWR, Pacific, Gulf and Atlantic coasts. All it needs is the will to tell the environmental religious maniacs what to do with themselves.

  • FriendlyGoat

    The last paragraph seems to suggest that Saudi Arabia has made a strategic decision which damages Venezuela quickly while the adjective-described fracking was damaging Venezuela slowly. The fallout from Sunni vs. Shia reaches all over the place.

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