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posted by janrinok on Saturday December 06 2014, @06:13PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the claims-but-no-evidence dept.

Andrew Higgins reports in the NYT that Romanian officials including the prime minister point to a mysteriously well-financed and well-organized campaign of protests over fracking in Europe and are pointing their fingers at Russia's Gazprom, a state-controlled energy giant, that has a clear interest in preventing countries dependent on Russian natural gas from developing their own alternative supplies of energy and preserving a lucrative market for itself — and a potent foreign policy tool for the Kremlin.

“Russia, as part of their sophisticated information and disinformation operations, engaged actively with so-called non-governmental organizations (NGOs) — environmental organizations working against shale gas — to maintain dependence on imported Russian gas,” says NATO’s former secretary general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

A wave of protest against fracking began three years ago in Bulgaria, a country highly dependent on Russian energy. Faced with a sudden surge of street protests by activists, many of whom had previously shown little interest in environmental issues, the Bulgarian government in 2012 banned fracking and canceled a shale gas license issued earlier to Chevron.

Russia itself has generally shown scant concern for environmental protection and has a long record of harassing and even jailing environmentalists who stage protests. On fracking, however, Russian authorities have turned enthusiastically green, with Putin declaring last year that fracking “poses a huge environmental problem.” Places that have allowed it, he said, “no longer have water coming out of their taps but a blackish slime.” For their part Green groups have been swift to attack Rasmussen’s views, saying that they were not involved in any alleged Russian attempts to discredit the technology, and were instead opposed to it on the grounds of environmental sustainability. “The idea we’re puppets of Putin is so preposterous that you have to wonder what they’re smoking over at Nato HQ,” says Greenpeace, which has a history of antagonism with the Russian government, which arrested several of its activists on a protest in the Arctic last year.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @06:29PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @06:29PM (#123257)

    Putin might be a black-hat schemer, but it seems to me that the oil companies (and their cronies in country) have a lot more to lose than Putin has to gain here. So I'm inclined to disbelieve these claims. But even if they are true, I'm not too troubled by it since at worst not-drilling seems like a neutral outcome when all the externalities are factored in.

    • (Score: 2) by Jeremiah Cornelius on Saturday December 06 2014, @06:38PM

      by Jeremiah Cornelius (2785) on Saturday December 06 2014, @06:38PM (#123260) Journal

      And it's not like Fracking is a GOOD thing. So? Russia takes a playbook from Soros and Koch.
      Pot, meet Kettle!

      --
      You're betting on the pantomime horse...
      • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Saturday December 06 2014, @07:30PM

        by kaszz (4211) on Saturday December 06 2014, @07:30PM (#123271) Journal

        Yeah, fracking pollutes your water resources so regardless Russian involvement it doesn't seems to bad. But of course NATO has a point.

        Btw, I'm not addicted to oil, I can quite ANYTIME! ;-)

        If fusion happens, then CO2 goes down and MENA + Russia is SOL.

        • (Score: 2) by frojack on Saturday December 06 2014, @08:40PM

          by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Saturday December 06 2014, @08:40PM (#123289) Journal

          Yeah, fracking pollutes your water resources

          Does it?

          Could have sworn [energyindepth.org] I've seen that claim debunked [colorado.edu] in recent articles [leaderandtimes.com] from multiple sources [weather.com]

          --
          No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
          • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Saturday December 06 2014, @09:17PM

            by kaszz (4211) on Saturday December 06 2014, @09:17PM (#123296) Journal

            Same as the research that cigarettes doesn't affect health in any bad way?

            • (Score: 2) by frojack on Saturday December 06 2014, @10:37PM

              by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Saturday December 06 2014, @10:37PM (#123310) Journal

              Possibly, but the government was never behind those smoking studies, whereas they are often the authors in the case of faking.
              The USGS has also pointed to fraking as a source of earthquakes.

              --
              No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
              • (Score: 3, Interesting) by edIII on Sunday December 07 2014, @12:13AM

                by edIII (791) Subscriber Badge on Sunday December 07 2014, @12:13AM (#123327)

                All of those links you pointed to earlier are outright disingenuous arguments and lies.

                Disclaimer: I've been in and around the industry.

                They are not fracking anything, and I'm not sure that most of those US departments you outlined even have access to the data. I note particularly that from Texas a doctor spoke, but we didn't hear from the Railroad Commission [state.tx.us]. Everything under the ground, their specific plans and activities, and the results are largely trade secret and protected information. It's made so private simply because competing oil & gas companies can gain tremendous advantages by learning from their rivals expensive attempts at geological reconnaissance. So when I see a US department listed, it means absolutely bupkis to me unless they have access to the trade secret information protected by law. In actuality, none of the departments listed could probably find anything out on their own. It requires the cooperation of the specific regulatory department for that state, and for Texas, it's the same department that controls the railroads.

                Drilling fluids tagged with unique markers were injected more than 8,000 feet below the surface at the gas well bore but weren't detected in a monitoring zone at a depth of 5,000 feet. The researchers also tracked the maximum extent of the man-made fractures, and all were at least 6,000 feet below the surface.

                That means the potentially dangerous substances stayed about a mile away from surface drinking water supplies, which are usually at depths of less than 500 feet.

                "This is good news," said Duke University scientist Rob Jackson, who was not involved with the study. He called it a "useful and important approach" to monitoring fracking, but he cautioned that the single study doesn't prove that fracking can't pollute, since geology and industry practices vary widely in Pennsylvania and across the nation. (emphasis mine)

                Meaningless drivel until the sentence in bold. This is why I say the arguments are disingenuous at best. Even Dr. Jackson is quick to point out that his statement only supports fracking in these specific conditions. Such statements only raise the question: Is what the oild & gas companies doing considered fracking in the technical sense?

                No. It isn't. Not anymore.

                Dr. Stephen Holditch, Dept. of Petroleum Engineering, Texas A&M University; member of DOE’s SEAB Shale Gas Production Subcommittee: “I have been working in hydraulic fracturing for 40+ years and there is absolutely no evidence hydraulic fractures can grow from miles below the surface to the fresh water aquifers.” (October 2011)

                I've met the man. Dr. Holditch isn't lying, but I have to question if he has even seen the logistics, plans, and specific formations and 3D seismic for the wells in question. While he is right that the process itself is so far from dangerous that structural damage to water tables and aquifers is ridiculous, he is only referring to the process itself.

                The “surfactant” chemicals found in samples of fracking fluid collected in five states were no more toxic than substances commonly found in homes, according to a first-of-its-kind analysis by researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder.

                Fracking fluid is largely comprised of water and sand, but oil and gas companies also add a variety of other chemicals, including anti-bacterial agents, corrosion inhibitors and surfactants. Surfactants reduce the surface tension between water and oil, allowing for more oil to be extracted from porous rock underground.

                In a new study published in the journal Analytical Chemistry, the research team identified the surfactants found in fracking fluid samples from Colorado, Louisiana, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Texas. The results showed that the chemicals found in the fluid samples were also commonly found in everyday products, from toothpaste to laxatives to detergent to ice cream.

                Completely missing the point, and once again, just a debased tactic in an argument. Also, not correct either. It's not sand in most cases, and CANNOT be sand at the depths mentioned in many of the references included. It MUST be proppant, as proppant is manufactured to maintain a spherical shape in the presence of tremendous heat and pressures. You use sand on SHALLOW formations CLOSER to WATER TABLES. Sand is cheap, and it sucks. Truly not fit for purpose in most cases where fracking is desired to increase permeability.

                Of COURSE the chemicals themselves are not that bad. Which, it's incredibly salient at this point to state the RECOVERY procedures used for such "safe" chemicals. We have to suck it all up back out of the ground. The EPA doesn't let you push that many gallons of crap down in the ground without an idea of how it's sequestered and monitored. We spend good money, a lot of it, paying for collection tanks and trucks to haul it off.

                If you're seeing fracking chemicals in the water, in any amount, YOU HAVE FAILED IN YOUR FRACK, YOU HAVE FAILED TO KEEP THE INTEGRITY OF THE CASING, AND YOU HAVE FAILED TO SECURE THE FORMATION FOR PRODUCTION.

                Among the concerns raised by the fracking boom is that the chemicals used in the fracking fluid might contaminate ground and surface water supplies. But determining the risk of contamination—or proving that any contamination has occurred in the past—has been difficult because oil and gas companies have been reluctant to share exactly what’s in their proprietary fluid mixtures, citing stiff competition within the industry.

                Recent state and federal regulations require companies to disclose what is being used in their fracking fluids, but the resulting lists typically use broad chemical categories to describe the actual ingredients.

                The results of the new study are important not only because they give a picture of the possible toxicity of the fluid but because a detailed list of the ingredients can be used as a “fingerprint” to trace whether suspected contamination of water supplies actually originated from a fracking operation.

                The authors caution that their results may not be applicable to all wells. Individual well operators use unique fracking fluid mixtures that may be modified depending on the underlying geology. Ferrer and Thurman are now working to analyze more water samples collected from other wells as part of a larger study at CU-Boulder exploring the impacts of natural gas development.

                Blah, blah, blah, trade secrets tie our hands....

                See? Not even the studies are worth a damn precisely because they don't represent all cases of fracking, and not all cases of fracking have data available for scientists.

                Dr. Mark Zoback, Professor of Geophysics, Stanford University; member of DOE’s SEAB Shale Gas Production Subcommittee: “Fracturing fluids have not contaminated any water supply and with that much distance to an aquifer, it is very unlikely they could.” (August 2011)

                Dr. Zoback needs to ask himself the question, "Are they performing a classical frac?" Here we come to crux of the entire argument. Unlike Dr. Zoback, I've actually seen real data from one of these "fracs" (not one I was involved with), and it showed a monstrous disrespect for ethics, science, and every regulation in the book. They are not fracking, sir. Performing near continuous fracking in the ways I have seen would instantly lead Dr. Zoback to conclude that they are effectively destroying the formations and water tables to suck up natural gas, all for greed.

                The unanswered question in the subject? The motivation?

                What's the ROI on a standard well? Does anyone here have any idea how fast the production falls? The reason we are having these arguments is that natural gas wells are not strong producers. Flow can be quick, but within a year it's all but gone in terms of pressure. It can take 20 years or more to properly recover hydrocarbons from a well .

                The motivation is simply to pull the money out of the ground faster, and is no more ethically or culturally complicated than any of the other shortsighted behaviors we see corporations performing every single day. In this case, it will be the water tables poisoned across most of our nation by the time it's done with hundreds of years of waiting (if ever) for them to recover. In other cases, it's Wall Street stealing Main Street blind and evicting a good portion of Americans out of their houses. Not complicated, it's just shortsightedness and greed. Standard. Operating. Procedure.

                Don't be fooled by the media, or these studies. Fracking is 100% perfectly safe, and I will never say otherwise. Their "Fracs" are harming the environment in the face of such truths. Therefore, they aren't fracking and something else simply must be going on. No, I can't prove any of it, precisely because all of that information is trade secret and well protected by law. If I could get my hands on any of it, I will be a whistleblower for sure.

                If there is any one thing I wish for people to believe, it's that fracking really is 100% safe. It truly is. Just don't believe they are doing it please.

                • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Sunday December 07 2014, @12:55AM

                  by kaszz (4211) on Sunday December 07 2014, @12:55AM (#123339) Journal

                  Why not simple sample the water around the fracking well? or simple take when no one notice regarding these fracking fluids? and send it for chemical analyze?

                  Anyway it seems we have polluting psychopathic Wall street people.

                  • (Score: 3, Informative) by edIII on Sunday December 07 2014, @06:44AM

                    by edIII (791) Subscriber Badge on Sunday December 07 2014, @06:44AM (#123410)

                    The water directly around the well might actually be contaminated to some small degree. Drilling and oil & gas well is an amazing process, and extraordinarily dirty. It's not a question of finding the chemicals really. We can just assume that fracking chemicals and worse are present within a couple hundred feet of the well. By worse, I mean the long sequestered hydrocarbons themselves (maybe some drilling fluids). I was always told to not get that on your hands or let it stay on them. Wash it off right away. Basically, I think you will get almost nothing but false positives measuring it this strictly.

                    My educated guess is that the complaints mostly surround not the fracking fluids themselves, but other hydrocarbons interacting with the water supply. Which it's a good time to remember that the whole point of drilling is recovery. So a proper well with good casing should have nothing more being introduced into the environment. Failures usually indicate a problem in the lines that need to be addressed, and soon. How much of this is not from already completed wells with all of their lines connected back to whatever energy company is refining it? They certainly don't haul this stuff off in trucks :) You also need to assume that all the existing lines and completed wells are in good order and well maintained before you conclude a single operation is responsible. I know this first hand due to the costs of fixing problems in the lines and keeping production going.

                    According to all of the definitions of the processes involved, they are indeed safe and well engineered processes worthy of respect. What I allege they are doing instead is performing a rather violent and brutish kind of fracking where it's not a single operation done carefully. After each frac (or series) we were really taking the time to evaluate the formations and recovery process. It took months, and we spent a lot of money hauling off water and contaminated fluids. In the documentation I saw, it was very clear that it was fracks being performed successively, with massive amounts of water being pumped into the formation. From what I also understand, a lot of "horizontal" drilling through formations far shallower than the typical 8k feet in the Marcellus Shale. So most of the fracking examples are not relevant to damage in shallower water tables. The people affected aren't lying, the earthquakes need to be explained, and they're allowed to keep secrets. I allege they are being unsafe and reckless even by traditional fracking standards. Either that, or I am grossly misinterpreting what I read in those documents. It described a process that did not have a well engineered tube proceeding to the surface, but a scorched earth attempt at pulverizing the formations and sucking up the juices. I was unable to visualize their process succeeding without the water tables being completely screwed, and I say that as somebody who has visually inspected well casing, and the explosives used for perforation. No expert, but I think I've got the basic concepts as they were explained to me by the well paid experts in attendance.

                    If you read some of the links, the doctors are always so incredulous because it really is so ridiculous to contaminate the water supply.

                    In oil & gas it's not the lack of engineering that kills us. It's the timetables and financial concerns imposed on the engineering and maintenance. Guess where that comes from? I believe my instincts about rampant greed and a complete disregard for their fellow man are correct in this case. BP in the Gulf happened precisely because the engineering was heavily influenced on how much money the executives could siphon out of the company. I think it's happening on land, which is much more difficult to track since you can't see it. In some cases you're deliberately prevented by law. Oil & Gas is that well protected.

                    --
                    Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
                • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Sunday December 07 2014, @06:49AM

                  by FatPhil (863) <reversethis-{if.fdsa} {ta} {tnelyos-cp}> on Sunday December 07 2014, @06:49AM (#123411) Homepage
                  You forgot to include a TL;DR. Perhaps "Fracking is perfectly safe when done by true Scotsmen"?
                  --
                  I know I'm God, because every time I pray to him, I find I'm talking to myself.
                  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by edIII on Sunday December 07 2014, @07:36AM

                    by edIII (791) Subscriber Badge on Sunday December 07 2014, @07:36AM (#123418)

                    No, sir. I did not. I did not present you an unreasoned fallacy. What I've presented you is:

                    1) Fracking is a technical process and well engineered.
                    2) There is considerable dissent about environmental concerns precluded by the engineering associated with fracking.
                    3) The concerns can be addressed by transparency and scientific explorations, but are precluded by law protecting corporate secrets.

                    My disclaimer was at the bottom where I said that I couldn't prove it. Therefore, at a minimum the No True Scotsman fallacy does not apply. I cannot illustrate or explain the counter example to a good fracking process, as it's wholly precluded by law as well as being nonsensical to every doctor and engineer asked. In fact, I think I strongly implied that it was a fallacy unless I could prove how their fracs are conducted. So in any case, your assertion of the fallacy is pointless. I addressed the issue, AFAICT, in a more or less direct and honest manner.

                    Additionally, you seem to be asking for proof that fracking is safe, as if it isn't that strongly supported by the science. Do you really need me to break down the whole process? I already did here before, you can search for it. In a way, I am asking for trust that fracs are safe. Why do I have any credibility? Fair question. I was really just enjoying the catering in the moments I wasn't listening to the engineers. However, all the doctors present in those articles are generally of the same mind and you might want to listen to them. What they say is that fracking can't really hurt anything, but that they couldn't make a statement of fact regarding anything else specific to certain formations or specific operations.

                    If you have any specific questions about the process, just ask.

                    --
                    Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
                    • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Sunday December 07 2014, @03:50PM

                      by FatPhil (863) <reversethis-{if.fdsa} {ta} {tnelyos-cp}> on Sunday December 07 2014, @03:50PM (#123485) Homepage
                      How does your "not fracking" differ from "not a true scotsman"?
                      How does your "Is what the oil & gas companies doing considered fracking in the technical sense?" "No. It isn't." differ from "Is it a true Scotsman?" "No. It isn't"?
                      It's hard to come up with a better match for the No True Scotsman fallacy.

                      If what people are doing in the real world is "not fracking", then no amount of proselytising about the safety of "true fracking" is relevant to the real world.
                      --
                      I know I'm God, because every time I pray to him, I find I'm talking to myself.
                      • (Score: 2) by edIII on Monday December 08 2014, @02:40AM

                        by edIII (791) Subscriber Badge on Monday December 08 2014, @02:40AM (#123632)

                        How does your "not fracking" differ from "not a true scotsman"?

                        It differs because the latter represents a logical fallacy and an intent to use it in a debate willfully, and the former is me stating that the fallacy exists and attempting to address the issue.

                        How does your "Is what the oil & gas companies doing considered fracking in the technical sense?" "No. It isn't." differ from "Is it a true Scotsman?" "No. It isn't"?

                        The true Scotsman represents behavior in a debate and unwillingness to explore the truth by simply saying that it can't be what they are doing. In one sense it's a pedantic clinging to strictly defined terms, but in another it can be to dodge the debate itself.

                        I intended nothing of the sort, and did not do such thing in actuality.

                        It's hard to come up with a better match for the No True Scotsman fallacy.

                        Which is why I'm not slamming you, and in fact, I am even responding to you at all. You have a good point when you bring it up, but it does not apply IMHO. I am attempting to explain what a true frac is, what I believe is occurring when specific exploration companies use the term, and then what may be happening in general from my experience.

                        If what people are doing in the real world is "not fracking", then no amount of proselytising about the safety of "true fracking" is relevant to the real world.

                        That is *absolutely* not true.

                        Back at Slashdot I was having a debate with a user there. My experience with fracking has always led me to support it, but after my conversations with this gentleman, I began to understand that the affected people are not lying. After that, it's just Occam's Razor. Which again, I know that I have to support. I thought I had with my statements about ROI and the actual physics involved. It was a productive conversation that gave me the impetus to really see what may be going on in these fracs instead of just making the assumption that they are correct. Nothing surprised me more than seeing documentation illustrating a continuous water fracking methodology where it was not a simple one-day operation.

                        The true Scotsman fallacy is purely an emergent property of the designed information asymmetry. I can't actually bring you to a fracking operation and show you anything. All of that is business data, and very well protected. I can explain what it means by definition, and walk you through an abstracted view of the process. I'm unable to do anything more unless we want to spend millions of dollars performing our own frac to demonstrate water table integrity being well maintained. The laws need to be changed to allow more transparency under the ground. I can honest to God perform some of the most gnarly fracking operations possible where we shake an o-ring lose on you out there. Even with that massive amounts of energy and fluid being slammed into the ground, there will be no damage to the water table.

                        Likewise, as I fully admitted from the start, I cannot prove my statements of the counterexample, the anti-frack. If I could prove them, the EPA would get busy assassinating these corporations in a fervor not seen since Prohibition. The anti-frack I was seeing on paper could not be reasonably stated to not have much in common. Not without almost every safety factor removed and what can only be described as a brutish attempt at forceful recovery that could only destroy formations. Not keep them intact.

                        Why is it relevant to the real world? So that when people discuss it, the idea is at least in the back of their heads that the information needs to be verified. Stop taking the fracking proponents word for it and demand transparent access to the operations. It's worthy to note that they might be lying to you.

                        It's frustrating not being able to prove anything, but even more frustrating that people don't simply block operations or protest until a civilian review board of petro engineers from Universities sign off on it with all the data public. Review isn't perfect by any means, but it sure makes it a lot harder to get away with stuff over long periods of time. Not something as big and noticeable as damaged water tables and aquifers that supply people water. This would have been already over if we had actual access to well data and operation logs. With 3D seismic, and operational logs showing casing integrity, I feel pretty confident we could clear it up on a well-by-well basis, all the way up to piping going to the refinery. Why can't we look?

                        I'm just one person, but I think it's important enough to say this. It's not an unreasoned fallacy to be demanding information symmetry when people are saying that their hair is catching on fire and corporations are saying that cream cheese can't be responsible. That's literally how ridiculous it is that a frack (according the entire purpose and designed engineering) can cause damage to anything beyond the specific designs of the frack. Well since people really are having their hair catch on fire, start freakin ask that they do what you want me to do, and actually start showing people that the cream cheese is really cream cheese instead of saying cream cheese is approved by the FDA.

                        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by FatPhil on Monday December 08 2014, @09:34AM

                          by FatPhil (863) <reversethis-{if.fdsa} {ta} {tnelyos-cp}> on Monday December 08 2014, @09:34AM (#123685) Homepage
                          Thank you for your considered reply. For reference, I could easily be in a reversed role in this exchange had the topic been security related. I could show the scientific proofs of security of protocols until red in the face while the rest of the world was implementing them with bugs, information leakage, timing attacks, and shitty PRNGs. However, because of the latter, I wouldn't even bother with the former. If everyone's doing it wrong, then the theoretical perfection may as well not exist, most of the time.
                          --
                          I know I'm God, because every time I pray to him, I find I'm talking to myself.
              • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Sunday December 07 2014, @01:17PM

                by maxwell demon (1608) on Sunday December 07 2014, @01:17PM (#123465) Journal

                Possibly, but the government was never behind those smoking studies, whereas they are often the authors in the case of faking.

                Freudian slip? ;-)

                --
                The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
          • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @09:37PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @09:37PM (#123298)

            Just ask the folks who can now ignite what comes out of their faucets.

            -- gewg_

          • (Score: 2) by dlb on Saturday December 06 2014, @11:12PM

            by dlb (4790) on Saturday December 06 2014, @11:12PM (#123318)
            Careful with those studies. I didn't look at the rest, but the University of Colorado study was done in a lab that Agilent Technologies, Inc. gave to them. Agilent has a history of donating to energy-friendly (read gas and oil friendly) institutions.

            The study found that

            ...oil and gas companies also add a variety of other chemicals [to fracking fluids], including anti-bacterial agents, corrosion inhibitors and surfactants

            The authors of the study compared fracking fluids to "substances commonly found in homes" such as "toothpaste to laxatives to detergent to ice cream", suggesting that it's fine to drink.
            Yet the authors go on to state that not all fracking fluids were tested. Just some. And that not all fracking fluids are alike:

            Individual well operators use unique fracking fluid mixtures that may be modified depending on the underlying geology.

            And they admit

            ...antimicrobial biocides used in fracking fluids are [still] important to investigate and ameliorate.

            We're left wondering whether antimicrobial biocides are all we need to "ameliorate":

            because oil and gas companies have been reluctant to share exactly what’s in their proprietary fluid mixtures, citing stiff competition within the industry.

            The kicker for me is that the study stated

            But water pollution from surfactants in fracking fluid may not be as big a concern as previously thought.

            Meaning that up until their "study" nobody really knew. And even at that, notice the word "may" in the above quote?

        • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Saturday December 06 2014, @09:49PM

          by Thexalon (636) on Saturday December 06 2014, @09:49PM (#123301)

          But of course NATO has a point.

          What, exactly, is that point? If Putin opposes something, does that make it automatically not a bad thing?

          For those who answer "Yes", to the second question, be aware that Putin opposes ISIS, because of its attempt to take over his ally Bashar al Assad's country.

          --
          The inverse of "I told you so" is "Nobody could have predicted"
          • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Sunday December 07 2014, @12:25AM

            by kaszz (4211) on Sunday December 07 2014, @12:25AM (#123332) Journal

            NATO has a point in that Putin may support the anti-fracking movement. That doesn't make that movement less relevant. It's just superpower chess play abusing plebs as they see fit.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 07 2014, @01:49AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 07 2014, @01:49AM (#123356)

        "And it's not like Fracking is a GOOD thing."

        Are you sure you haven't been influenced or brainwashed to believe this by Putin's propaganda?

    • (Score: 2) by Joe Desertrat on Saturday December 06 2014, @07:34PM

      by Joe Desertrat (2454) on Saturday December 06 2014, @07:34PM (#123272)

      I would be more inclined to believe the story that the Russians are behind it was planted to help drum up opposition to protests in the US. The story came out in the New York Times after all. Watch and see if Fox News and the right wing blog network pick it up. Middle America still fears the "commies".

      • (Score: 3) by kaszz on Saturday December 06 2014, @07:50PM

        by kaszz (4211) on Saturday December 06 2014, @07:50PM (#123276) Journal

        Is there any significant communism left in Russia? ;-)

        They seems to practice an even more raw version of captalism than USA.

        The new fear is perhaps "islamists".

        • (Score: 1) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @08:09PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @08:09PM (#123283)

          Is there any significant communism left in Russia?

          There is probably no significant communism left in Russia, but there is still an irrational fear of it in conservatives in the US.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 07 2014, @08:11PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 07 2014, @08:11PM (#123533)

            i never post but on this i should. i have been to Russia several times in teh past 24 months or so. I can tell you that capitalism is booming, people think Putin is a dick, but that he truly wants to better the country. But limiting technology imports hurts the Russians more than it hurts us. Communism is alive though, as it is in what used to be eastern Germany. And by that, I really mean communism has morphed into socialism whereby healthcare, retirement, holidays and pay, money for mothers and kids, etc are demanded.

            I live in Germany and have for almost 12 years. I always laugh when my right wing father screams that Obama is destroying America and making it all socialist and blah blah blah. I try to explain that he should come over here more often and see what a true socialist country is like. Now, I am not advocating the German system for America and never would, but alittle bit would go a long way in America. And I dont believe it would be a bad thing.

            So, to sum it all up, communism in its traditional form is dead in Russia. However communism/socialism is alive and well.

        • (Score: 3) by M. Baranczak on Saturday December 06 2014, @09:48PM

          by M. Baranczak (1673) on Saturday December 06 2014, @09:48PM (#123300)

          Is there any significant communism left in Russia?

          The Russians have managed to implement the worst qualities of both capitalism and communism.

          • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Sunday December 07 2014, @12:23AM

            by kaszz (4211) on Sunday December 07 2014, @12:23AM (#123330) Journal

            Mobocrati?

            Not even the greek thought of that I think ;-)

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 07 2014, @01:37AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 07 2014, @01:37AM (#123351)

            What parts of Communism have been adopted in Russia?
            The bottom-up part? Nope.
            The everyone's-needs-are-met part? Nope.

            Economically, Russia was NEVER Communist.
            The Soviet Union wasn't either.
            Before the latest name switch, it was an example of State Capitalism.
            Now, it's just Crony Capitalism.
            Before any of that, it was feudal.

            As for government, Russia, the Soviet Union, and now Russia again has always been dominated by top-down totalitarians.
            For Communism (again, a bottom-up system) to work, there has to be a functioning democracy.

            “It's not the votes that count, it's who counts the votes.” --Josef Stalin
            That's the opposite of Communism.

            -- gewg_

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 07 2014, @03:03AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 07 2014, @03:03AM (#123367)
          fear of islam? no. not at all.

          getting real tired of? yes. yes the world is getting real tired of islam and their antics.

          as in "we're sick of your stupid shit. fuck off and die. or else."
  • (Score: 2) by Bot on Saturday December 06 2014, @07:51PM

    by Bot (3902) on Saturday December 06 2014, @07:51PM (#123277) Journal

    ...as long as we don't discover later that fracking companies pay Romanian officials :)

    --
    Account abandoned.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 07 2014, @12:29AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 07 2014, @12:29AM (#123334)
      Can you just explain how could the politicians of the street with a single street light be relevant?
  • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Saturday December 06 2014, @08:47PM

    by HiThere (866) on Saturday December 06 2014, @08:47PM (#123291) Journal

    I'm quite sure that Russia is supportive of European anti-fracking, whether actively or not. To believe that they initiated it is ... a bit over the top. I'd need to see evidence.

    A lot of people are against fracking for a number of different reasons, some of which are reasonable, and some of which aren't. This without ANY involvement from Russia. But that's not proof that Russia didn't commit some overt act to facilitate some anti-fracking group's organization or effectiveness. It also isn't proof that they did. Saying that "Someone is financing them so it must be Russia!" is a bit propagandistic. (I wish I could think of a better term for that particular kind of illogic, but there's no evidence that "xenophobic" would be accurate.)

    --
    Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
    • (Score: 2) by hoochiecoochieman on Sunday December 07 2014, @03:27PM

      by hoochiecoochieman (4158) on Sunday December 07 2014, @03:27PM (#123479)

      The guy is a compulsive liar, former-head of one of the biggest criminal organisations worldwide and has an agenda the size of Jupiter. Fuck him. I wouldn't believe a single word that comes out of his mouth even if he told me that water is wet.

      This is just an attempt to tarnish the environmentalist movements, the same way that NATO labels liberation movements as "terrorists" and psychopathic mass murderers as "freedom fighters", and then the other way around, according to its extremely short-term agendas. They always need a bogeyman to scare the dumb masses into submission. The bogeyman of the day is Russia.

  • (Score: 2) by CRCulver on Sunday December 07 2014, @12:19AM

    by CRCulver (4390) on Sunday December 07 2014, @12:19AM (#123328) Homepage
    In Romania, the anti-fracking movement has to some degree evolved from the protests against the Rosia Montana gold mine, which grew from a local interest in one county to a nationwide concern, and one of the major passions of certain well-educated people under the age of 30 or so. Rosia Montana protestors readily saw the similarity between that gold mine's ability to contaminate waterways with cyanide and fracking's ability to pollute groundwater, and the consider protest infrastructure in place against Rosia Montata could be easily turned towards fracking. I have no doubt that Russia is doing what it can to tap into and amplify this discontent, but it sprung up among a certain Romanian demographic first.