What bin Laden and Bush Don't Talk About: The Politics of Oil
November 10, 2001 8:37 AM   Subscribe

What bin Laden and Bush Don't Talk About: The Politics of Oil, an article on alternet.org. The title is better than the article, but it's food for thought anyway.
posted by geir (6 comments total)
the problem is, oil is money, anyone who cuts off oil is cutting off money, and who is going to do that?
posted by Satapher at 9:44 AM on November 10, 2001

Nice overview article, although I would have preferred some comments on personal ties with oil in the administration.

the problem is, oil is money, anyone who cuts off oil is cutting off money, and who is going to do that?

True, but money for who? whom? Does maintaining the oil dependence really boost the overall economy? Investing in conservation and alternate energy sources could spur a wave of invention and develop new markets for gadgets big and small. The auto industry can adapt.
posted by billder at 11:48 AM on November 10, 2001

There was some compelling discussion of Cheney's links to Caspian Basin oil interests, as well as Govt. connection to oil interests on MeFi recently. Unfortunately, the search timed out for the thread I am recalling. SO, check this out: Google Search
posted by perestroika21 at 12:30 PM on November 10, 2001

The opening statements aren't exactly true. Osama has certainly mentioned the Saudi oil as a resource he would love to control; he's said (I couldn't find a link) that he'd raise the price to $144 a barrel, about six times current prices. That's demagoguery, though, which doesn't hold up under the scrutiny of history: OPEC has trouble with the current range of production targets and per-barrel prices, and that would just mean nobody buying Saudi oil.

Even if al-Qaeda were to merely damage Saudi production or shipping in some way -- e.g. by sinking boats in the Straits of Hormuz, in itself a difficult and uncertain enterprise -- the Saudis only represent 11% of known reserves. Their current production of up to 25% of shipped petroleum could be largely replaced by production increases in other nations, such as Russia, Norway and Venezuela (exporters #2, 3, and 4); and unlike the 1970s, one quarter of production is from non-OPEC nations.

This article also fails to really look at the divides within Saudi Arabia, and especially inside the Sa'ud family. King Fahd was very pro-American (he built a mansion on the Spanish Riviera that is said to be an exact copy of the White House). His brother, Crown Prince and regent Abdullah, is much less so. Yet there remain pro-American Sa'ud princes, especially Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the longtime ambassador to Washington, who remain confident our close relationship will continue. Abdullah's recent talk of a more independent Saudi foreign policy may be welcomed by some in the country but it's an open question how much room he really has to operate. The only other model, really, is Iraq, and that direction would be disastrous for the royal family's fortunes. So they really have no great political choices.
posted by dhartung at 12:57 PM on November 10, 2001

This is a thread I posted about tons of information about the Government connection with oil.-(in previewing this post I have found that the Energy Administration Information links no longer work, don't know if it's a glitch or if they have been taken off.)-- I have caught a lot of flack from Mefe'ers for presenting this side of the story. I will no longer state my opinion but the information is all in there (also much more in the comments) not to mention the many links on a regular search engine with "Oil, Halliburton, Bush, Cheney" as your keywords.
posted by bas67 at 6:59 PM on November 10, 2001

Here is the Google search for the Energy Information Administration. I don't if the site is under new construction or has had information removed. If anyone can check it out more thoroughly, please post what you find or e-mail me. This site had lots of information on our Governments Oil interests abroad.
posted by bas67 at 7:15 PM on November 10, 2001

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