Yesterday the Washington Free Beacon posted an article about the foreign funding behind anit-fracking groups in America.
Before we follow the money, lets look at some history. During World War II, the British limited immigration to Israel because they did not want to antagonize the Arabs. It wasn’t that the British loved the Arabs–the Arabs had the oil Britain needed. In 1960 the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting CountriesilOPEC) was formed in Baghdad, Iraq. The mandate of OPEC is to “coordinate and unify the petroleum policies” of its members and to “ensure the stabilization of oil markets in order to secure an efficient, economic and regular supply of petroleum to consumers, a steady income to producers and a fair return on capital for those investing in the petroleum industry.” (Essentially, they formed a monopoly which they stated would benefit producers and consumers.) We saw how well this worked when they tripled the price of oil in the 1970’s. We have also seen oil used as a political weapon to discourage international support of Israel. Now OPEC has a problem. If America becomes energy independent, OPEC has lost its political clout, and the repressive regimes in the Middle East that control OPEC might lose a lot of their support from western nations. What better way to discourage energy independence in America than to support the groups that oppose fracking and other petroleum industries.
The article reports:
A shadowy Bermudan company that has funneled tens of millions of dollars to anti-fracking environmentalist groups in the United States is run by executives with deep ties to Russian oil interests and offshore money laundering schemes involving members of President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle.
One of those executives, Nicholas Hoskins, is a director at a hedge fund management firm that has invested heavily in Russian oil and gas. He is also senior counsel at the Bermudan law firm Wakefield Quin and the vice president of a London-based investment firm whose president until recently chaired the board of the state-owned Russian oil company Rosneft.
In addition to those roles, Hoskins is a director at a company called Klein Ltd. No one knows where that firm’s money comes from. Its only publicly documented activities have been transfers of $23 million to U.S. environmentalist groups that push policies that would hamstring surging American oil and gas production, which has hurt Russia’s energy-reliant economy.
Russia needs high energy prices to support its economy. Fracking is a threat to those prices.
The article concludes:
“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 organizations—environmental organizations working against shale gas—to maintain European dependence on imported Russian gas,” Anders Fogh Rasmussen, formerly NATO’s secretary general, said last year.
It is unlikely that the Kremlin is directly involved in doing so in the United States, according to Ron Arnold of the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise.
“If anybody in Russia is behind all the secretive Bermuda investment house and law firm action, it’s most likely some oligarch bidding against U.S. competition,” he said in an email.
Arnold, the author of Undue Influence: Wealthy Foundations, Grant Driven Environmental Groups, and Zealous Bureaucrats That Control Your Future, said that the opacity of Klein Ltd.’s involvement with the Sea Change Foundation exemplifies attempts to shield the source of donations to such groups.
“In my experience of trying to penetrate offshore money funnels for U.S. leftist foundations and green groups, I have found that Liechtenstein, Panama and Bermuda are the Big Three green equivalents of the Cayman Islands for hedge fund managers—totally opaque and impervious to my specially designed research tools,” Arnold said.
The Russians are not the first to play this game. In September 2012, Power Line reported:
Earlier today, Steve gave this week’s Green Weenie award to Matt Damon for the anti-fracking movie Promised Land, which, it turns out, was financed by the United Arab Emirates. Who, trust me, acted out of a noble concern for the environment and had no thought of suppressing American fossil fuel development which would compete with the Emirates’ product and likely cost the Emirates billions of dollars.
Before you buy into the latest environmental (or other) cause, find out who is funding it.