Friday, 15 August 2008

Big Government, Big Oil and the Big Russian Bear

NBR's Nevil Gibson skilfully joins the dots between the war in Georgia, Russia's renewed imperialism and envy-ridden attacks on 'Big Oil.' "Western consumers," he says, "are likely to pay a heavy price because of politicians beating up on Big Oil."

For years, the privately owned multinational oil companies have been a soft target for anti-capitalist politicians, including those in New Zealand. They have even promoted inquiries into alleged cartel pricing – none of which prove anything contrary to consumers’ interests.
The result has been, since World War II, a huge shift in control of oil resources from the private sector to state-owned companies, many of them hostile to Western interests, again including New Zealand.
The bulk of the world’s oil resources – if not yet supply – is now controlled by governments.
An increasing number of these governments, using “convenient idiot” politicians in the West, are using their oil power to work against Western interests – Venezuela and Iran are just two that come to mind.
All this is a lead-up to the most egregious example: Russia, which this week had everyone in lather over beating up Georgia.
Yet this is just follows on from earlier events, which have seen most of the major oil companies – Shell, BP, Chevron and the like – having their interests seized.
The anti-Big Oil politicians had nothing to say when these companies - owned by western shareholders - were effectively expropriated without compensation.
Russia equates its interests with turning its state-owned oil resources into political power in a new twist on the old Cold War.
Russia is not afraid to use this power to put the screws on wannabe democratic countries – such as Georgia and Ukraine – that want to join western institutions such as the European Union and Nato.
Opponents of the Big Oil companies have made the Russians’ goals that much easier.

1 comment:

  1. It's especially tragic as the private oil companies are afraid to come right out and state what is going on. Instead they tread lightly around the politicians and try not to scare the horses. They should be screaming from the hill-tops.



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