Proving again that Al will never let consistency of principle stand between him a a big payday, he is walking away from the sale of Current TV (surely you’re eyes are always glued to that, right?) to Al Jazeera with a reported $70 million. Al Jazeera, of course, is largely funded by the Qatari government. And Qatar is a major producer of the fossil fuels that Al dreads so much, particularly natural gas. Indeed, Qatar is the world’s largest exporter of LNG, accounting in 2011 for 75.5 million tons out of a world total of 241.5 MT, far outdistancing number two exporter Malaysia which exports only a third of Qatar’s volumes. Quite impressive, given that Qatar only began LNG production in 1997.
But maybe there is some consistency here. Al hates fracking. Qatar hates fracking too. Increases in output of gas in the US due to the fracking revolution, and the potential migration of that technology to other regions, represents a major threat to Qatari export volumes, and the price it can get from those exports. Qatar is already cutting back spot volumes trying to lock Asian customers into long term contracts in anticipation of increased competition resulting from increased output of non-conventional gas, as well as gas offshore gas produced in Australia.
Qatar is no doubt looking for ways to crank up the propaganda war on fracking, and Current TV’s prog audience (to the extent it has an audience) is highly receptive to that message. Need proof of that? New York governor Andrew Cuomo is allegedly spiking a state-commissioned report that demonstrates that fracking does not present a health risk. Why? Well let’s hear it from the horse’s mouth (and yeah, the other end too), the New York Times: “Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat, has long delayed making a decision, unnerved in part by strident opposition on his party’s left.”
So Current, which would not even enter into negotiations to sell to Glenn Beck because “they wanted to sell to someone they are ideologically in line with”, has apparently succeeded in that objective. They found a fellow fracking foe to buy the network, therefore no doubt easing whatever qualms they have about selling to a network known for Jew hatred, which receives funding from a country that has become notorious of late for being the main arms trafficker for civil wars in Syria, Libya, and now Mali, with many of these weapons allegedly going to Al Qaeda affiliates.
Qatar bears watching. It is difficult to figure out what its game is. It is, as just noted, heavily involved in intramural Muslim conflicts in Africa and the Middle East. Some of this is easy to understand: fighting Syria is a proxy war against arch-foe Iran. The broader support for radical Islamic elements is far more difficult to understand, and quite troubling. Is Qatar operating on its own? Is it a Saudi cutout? Qatar has also had tempestuous relations with Russia, culminating with a downgrading of relations following the battery of three Russian diplomats including the ambassador at the Doha airport: the fight erupted when Qatari securities and customs personnel attempted to wrest a diplomatic pouch from the ambassador.
But Al apparently doesn’t care about all this. He has the green, and his green conscience is salved by a transaction with a fracking foe. Even one whose gas exports account for 206,250,000 tons of CO2 every year, and whose oil production generates another 205,000,000 or so tons, volumes that commenter Green as Grass helpfully points out allow Qatar to claim the title of world’s largest CO2 producer per capita. There’s an inconvenient truth for you, eh Al?