Is Moscow “secretly working with environmentalists to oppose fracking” in Europe?

posted at 1:21 pm on June 23, 2014 by Erika Johnsen

That’s what the chief of NATO suggested at a conference last week, and frankly, I wouldn’t put it past the Kremlin. Via the Guardian:

Anders Fogh Rasmussen, secretary-general of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato), and former premier of Denmark, told the Chatham House thinktank in London on Thursday that Vladimir Putin’s government was behind attempts to discredit fracking, according to 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.”

He declined to give details of those operations, saying: “That is my interpretation.” …

A Nato official told the Guardian that Russia’s influence on energy supplies was causing problems for Europe. The official said: “We don’t go into the details of discussions among allied leaders, but Russia has been using a mix of hard and soft power in its attempt to recreate a sphere of influence, including through a campaign of disinformation on many issues, including energy. …”

I doubt many of these groups of usefully idiotic eco-crusaders really need any outside prodding to fuel their campaign to thwart Europe’s exploration and fracking of its own potential shale deposits (and, incidentally, Europe’s best practical hope for cleaner-burning emissions at the moment as well as economic growth, good grief), but Russia most definitely does not want that fracking to happen. Russia’s revenue and economy are largely dependent on energy exports, and because Putin’s government wants to keep the Europeans dependent on their gas shipments, Russian officials have been publicly critical of fracking — even as they themselves try to entice Western companies to share their fracking know-how to further unlock more of Russia’s reserves. As Keith Johnson at Foreign Policy notes, you expect the usual environmentalist opposition in places like Britain and Germany, but in other areas in Europe, the sudden rise of outright opposition is  a little more oddly conspicuous:

“It’s very concrete; it relates to both opposition to shale and also trying to block any alternative pipelines with environmental challenges,” said Brenda Shaffer, an energy expert at Georgetown University.

“There is a lot of evidence here; countries like Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine being at the vanguard of the environmental movement is enough for it to be conspicuous,” she said.

Bulgaria’s anti-shale movement is particularly telling. The country initially embraced fracking as a way to develop its own energy resources and reduce reliance on Russia, even signing an exploration deal with Chevron in 2011. But then came an eruption of seemingly grassroots environmental protests and a televised blitz against fracking. In early 2012, the government reversed course and banned the practice.

Researchers who’ve worked on the ground in Central and Eastern Europe say there is plenty of anecdotal evidence, if no smoking guns, of Russian financial support for some environmental groups that have recently mobilized opposition to shale gas development.


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What Russia needs, says Dugin, is a “genuine, true, radically revolutionary and consistent, fascist fascism.” On the other hand, “Liberalism, is an absolute evil. . . . Only a global crusade against the U.S., the West, globalization, and their political-ideological expression, liberalism, is capable of becoming an adequate response. . . . The American empire should be destroyed.”

At this rate Putin has to just sit down and watch, smile…the self-destruction happens, apace.

Schadenfreude on June 23, 2014 at 1:28 PM

I’m surprised they’re willing to work with those nasty thugs who use violence and intimidation to achieve their destructive world view, but I suppose the Russians have to work with someone.

Bishop on June 23, 2014 at 1:31 PM

Naw, it couldn’t be that such polluting slobs as the old soviet Union leftovers are going to now pretend to be stewards of the planet, could it?
Obama won’t draw a line in the oil-sand for his old flexible buddy on this one, I’ll wager. He’s been planning to control us with climate change nonsense for a while now.

Don L on June 23, 2014 at 1:33 PM

It’s not the first time. Who do you think funded the Greens?

Steve Eggleston on June 23, 2014 at 1:35 PM

Useful idiots.

John the Libertarian on June 23, 2014 at 1:37 PM

Russia: Realpolitik. Europe/The One: Unicorns and butterflies…

vnvet on June 23, 2014 at 1:38 PM

Environuts have always been watermelons, green on the outside, red on the inside.

Flange on June 23, 2014 at 1:38 PM

Fascist Russia working with watermelons in Western Europe to empower and enrich Fascist Russia while also empowering and enriching the watermelons?

Isn’t it obvious? Both win.

Athos on June 23, 2014 at 1:38 PM

Russian marxists have been funding western NGOs since the 1930s at least.

rbj on June 23, 2014 at 1:38 PM

Why not? Middle East oil producers and enviro-nazis in the U.S. also share the same goal, to suppress oil development/production/transport here! Don’t worry, though. Al Gore is on the case!

xNavigator on June 23, 2014 at 1:39 PM

I’m just really exhausted from all the strife and infighting. Can’t we all just get along?? No??

Deano1952 on June 23, 2014 at 1:39 PM

V. Putin is playing the Game of Thrones well.

antisense on June 23, 2014 at 1:40 PM

“Alright, we’ve achieved all our dreams and are running the show, now what? Get rid of oil and coal and everything else?”

-Stand against this sandbag wall.

“WHAT? But you said you were concerned about the environment!”

-Yeah, whatever. Blindfold?

Bishop on June 23, 2014 at 1:43 PM

Is Moscow “secretly working with environmentalists to oppose fracking” in Europe?

Well the left is working with the Saudis here in America to oppose Fracking.

I have no doubt Vlad would discourage fracking in Europe.

redguy on June 23, 2014 at 1:45 PM

Bishop on June 23, 2014 at 1:43 PM

The sad thing is, we won’t be seeing that live so we could laugh our hindquarters off.

Steve Eggleston on June 23, 2014 at 1:45 PM

You’re wrong Erika.

They’re doing it out in the open.

njrob on June 23, 2014 at 1:46 PM

Isn’t it common knowledge that our “greenies” are bankrolled by the Saudis?

Rix on June 23, 2014 at 1:46 PM

And where do the Greenies think Vlad gets his money to pay them????

redguy on June 23, 2014 at 1:47 PM

Let’s try this again, then:

Since this is obviously a slow news day, allow me to make some story suggestions:

The wheels have come off the Cochran campaign.

yaedon on June 23, 2014 at 1:49 PM

He declined to give details of those operations, saying: “That is my interpretation.” …

Bulgaria’s anti-shale movement is particularly telling.

Would those be the same Bulgarian environmental groups fighting against the Russian South Stream gas pipeline?

Why would Putin want to shut down his own natural gas pipeline?

I wouldn’t put it past him, but some proof or evidence would be nice.

sharrukin on June 23, 2014 at 1:49 PM

Heh. Same thing that happened last time I couldn’t post a comment. As soon as I try to post piecemeal, the original post comes through…

yaedon on June 23, 2014 at 1:50 PM

It’s a good thing that the Saudi’s aren’t funding “Fractivists” in the U.S..

Hahahahaha

How much of the “Republican Establishment” do you suppose the Saudi’s own?

How much of Fox News?

They’ve been quietly buying up American politicians and institutions for the last 40 years.. $Jihad$

CrazyGene on June 23, 2014 at 1:50 PM

is opec working with the environazis to stop north american pipelines? You betcha

Pegcity on June 23, 2014 at 1:50 PM

Isn’t it common knowledge that our “greenies” are bankrolled by the Saudis?

Rix on June 23, 2014 at 1:46 PM

Them and the EPA.

Johnnyreb on June 23, 2014 at 1:51 PM

While Putin plays chess, our side plays golf.

KW64 on June 23, 2014 at 2:01 PM

I’m more worried about who’s secretly or not, working to prevent the XL in the US.

Kissmygrits on June 23, 2014 at 2:01 PM

Looks like Moscow is finally acting like a 21 century county.

Walter L. Newton on June 23, 2014 at 2:04 PM

Putin to Europe: Don’t frack your dirty gas so you can buy our dirty fracked gas.

Betcha can’t kick us out of Ukraine!

Steve Z on June 23, 2014 at 2:10 PM

Environuts have always been watermelons, green on the outside, red on the inside.

Flange on June 23, 2014 at 1:38 PM

While I never found Gallagher’s schtick all that humorous, I get it, now. Smash those watermelons!

freedomfirst on June 23, 2014 at 2:13 PM

Read Comrade J by Pete Earley.

KGB created and spread the nuclear winter myth to push US arms control and leftists like Carl Sagan bought, believed and spread the false science…

mjbrooks3 on June 23, 2014 at 2:24 PM

Read Comrade J by Pete Earley.

KGB created and spread the nuclear winter myth to push US arms control and leftists like Carl Sagan bought, believed and spread the false science…

mjbrooks3 on June 23, 2014 at 2:24 PM

Hmmm, maybe the KGB created Carl Sagan to purposely spread the false science.

/SNARK

hawkeye54 on June 23, 2014 at 2:29 PM

And where do the Greenies think Vlad gets his money to pay them????

redguy on June 23, 2014 at 1:47 PM

Ah, but there you err. Greenies never think, only feel. When they feel that cash in their hands they feel no need to question the source.

/SNARK

hawkeye54 on June 23, 2014 at 2:31 PM

At a boy!

Schadenfreude on June 23, 2014 at 2:38 PM

Scandal of fiddled global warming data…
USA has actually been COOLING since 1930s, the hottest decade on record…
Supreme Court limits EPA’s ability to regulate greenhouse gases…
Obama Warns of ‘Hurricane Intensity’ Despite 8-Year Hiatus…
GREENPEACE exec flies 250 miles to work…
Australian PM introduces bill to repeal carbon tax…

– Drudge

Schadenfreude on June 23, 2014 at 2:40 PM

Man, we’re dealing with people who are always surprised whodunit on Scooby Doo.

formwiz on June 23, 2014 at 4:19 PM

If you have been following the latest James O’keefe Project Veritas videos, Hollywood stars quite readily side with Middle Eastern Oil interests and take financing from them for anti-fracking documentaries. It was made quite clear to the them that it was Middle East Oil interests, and that their interest was to squash fracking even though it made America less dependent on Middle East Oil. Unbelievable hypocrites and anti-Americanism in action.

GlobalTrvlr on June 23, 2014 at 5:58 PM