Monday, November 19, 2007

Saudi Contradictions

(All emphases by Always On Watch)

Excerpt from this article in the November 18, 2007 edition of the Washington Post:
...For the past four days, OPEC and Saudi officials have been trying to portray the oil cartel almost as a public service organization, scrutinizing figures on consumption and production to find a balance that would moderate wild swings in prices for the benefit of consumers and producers alike.

"We are not using the oil we are selling to the world as a political weapon," OPEC Secretary General Abdullah al-Badri said this week. "We have not used [it] in the past, nor will we use it in the future." ...

Really? Can the general be serious? The oil magnates of OPEC do not sell oil out the collective goodness of their hearts. After all, the House of Saud isn't exactly known for a spartan existence:
Photo credit
The meeting was held in an ornate royal conference center, with Corinthian columns and carved archways worthy of ancient Rome or the Venetian doges. The OPEC leaders were led to a room with 11 giant crystal chandeliers, marble floors, 20-foot doors of inlaid wood and gold trim, cavernous ceilings with carved patterns painted powder blue, eggshell white and pink, and enough cushy seats for 2,000 people.
All fully paid for, no doubt.

The article ends with what might be deemed a veiled threat:
Abdullah warned global warming activists and lawmakers against targeting oil use. "The echoes repeated here and there about the effect of petroleum on the environment is a discourse laced with . . . fallacies," he said.

Environmental concerns have come up repeatedly this week because OPEC officials worry that new taxes or cap-and-trade programs for greenhouse gases could add to the cost of petroleum products and put a dent in demand for oil. Earlier in the week, Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said that "we do not like policies that discriminate against petroleum or fossil fuels in general."
Contradiction alert! According to the Saudis, the marketing of oil isn't political.

And, Al Gore, take notice. You've been called a liar, and the Saudis worry that your global-warming agenda could dent their bank accounts.

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posted by Always On Watch @ 11/19/2007 11:25:00 PM