Tuesday 2 December 2014

Was Russian money behind the anti-fracking protests in Romania?

A very interesting story in the New York Times suggests that Russian money was behind the anti-fracking protests in Romania. It sounds extremely likely to me.

The Romanian Prime Minister, Victor Ponta, announced three weeks ago that Romania does not have shale gas and so there was no need to argue over the issue. But Chevron is not so sure.


  1. If so, I don't see anything shocking about this. If a particular political viewpoint benefits a certain power, wouldn't that power help support that political viewpoint? It doesn't necessarily mean that one side is "right" or "wrong". I mean, this is the nature of politics. During the Cold War, I believe that the Soviet bloc supported peace advocacy, nuclear disarmament, civil rights for African-Americans, the fight against apartheid, etc. in the West. That's just the nature of politics and political alliances, isn't it? Note that in authoritarian systems, the same charge is used to discredit what may and often are legitimate aspirations for greater liberty: i.e., that civil society and pro-democracy groups are funded by rival powers.

  2. It's a remarkably ecologically-friendly way to extract oil and gas, Paul. Once the fracking part is done you just have a small well-head left. The fracking doesn't contaminate ground water and has the same sort of seismological effect as any mining. It's really safe too, when most energy comes at quite a cost of life and injury.

  3. Here is my idea. How about Romania leaves fracking alone for the next 20 years. It's not like the gas in the ground has an expiry date.
    If Romania is going to develop economically it's not going to happen because of fracking.
    Firstly, Romania needs to build 2000 KM of motorway and needs to increase its EU funds absorption rate from 25% to 75%. After Romania finishes all that, and after the UK has 10 years of fracking experience with lack of contamination, then Romania could start fracking.

    The Romanian state is too weak to police fracking exploitation ATM and Romania has an amazing natural/ecological landscape. It would be a shame for all of it to be spoilt because Romania decided to be a pioneer in fracking exploitation.
    Again, if Romania wants to do well, fracking is far from being the key to its development and growth.