On Wednesday, April 1st, German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cabinet approved a measure to bring fracking (the patents for which are owned mainly by “large American companies, including Halliburton, Baker Hughes and Schlumberger”) into Germany. This is a prelude not only to U.S. President Obama’s secret Trans-Atlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP) pact with Europe to subordinate national laws and regulations to trans-national mega-corporate panels that will be dominated by U.S. firms and that will override the participating nations’ environmental and labor regulations and consumer protections (and harm European economies generally), but it is also a major step toward removing Europe from Russia’s energy-market, and bringing U.S. and European oil companies to dominate there instead.
German Economic News headlined on April 1st, “Precursor to TTIP: Federal Government brings Fracking to Germany,” and reported that:
The controversial shale gas extraction (fracking) process is coming to Germany: In order not to provoke excessively large protests at home, the federal government highlighted that fracking is initially allowed only for testing purposes. But in fact, the draft law of the Federal Environment and the Federal Ministry of Economics, approved today by the the Cabinet, also allows subsequent large-scale extraction of shale gas….
The American interest in a continuing conflict simmering in Ukraine also causes Europeans to fear that Russian gas could stop and thus drive Europe to give up our still considerable resistance against fracking. Some US politicians have personal interests, such as the US Vice President Biden, whose son works for a Ukrainian fracking company.
Last year [U.S. agent, friend of Angela Merkel, and EU Council President, Donald] Tusk wrote in a commentary in the Financial Times that ‘excessive dependence on Russian energy’ is an EU weakness. Currently, the EU countries derive 44 percent of our natural gas from Russia and 33 percent from Norway. … Objectively, there is no reason to be afraid of the Russians: Even Angela Merkel acknowledged a few months ago that Russians have always accurately fulfilled their gas contracts and therefore are a reliable partner.
Halliburton and Baker-Hughes have merged, and are the two major owners of fracking patents. Schlumberger is third. ExxonMobil is a distant fourth. So, this could produce a huge boost to those stocks.
The fact that the only independent economic analysis of the impact of the TTIP finds that, without a doubt, it will harm European economies, and especially will increase the inequality of wealth in both the U.S. and EU, suggests that the U.S. aristocracy’s control over European aristocracies must be rather strong in order for the TTIP to be moving forward toward approval by, apparently, people such as Merkel and Tusk. Merkel has already shown that she is the EU’s enforcer of austerity (“the Washington Consensus”) upon the residents in Greece and Spain in order to guarantee payments to the bondholders of those countries; but in the present instance, the aristocrats whom she is serving are specifically, if not only, American ones. And, in particular, the oil companies that will be primary beneficiaries of her pro-fracking maneuver are mainly American ones. She comes from the former East Germany, and, apparently, hates Russia just as the CIA-connected Barack Obama does.
After the Cabinet meeting, a joint press conference was held with Ukraine’s Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, in which he said and she seconded, that Ukraine was ready to join the EU and was making the required progress toward rooting out corruption, and toward other matters. He said that the only barriers against that are Russian aggression, and a shortage of money from Germany and from other Western nations. The two leaders stated that the front-line against the threat from Russia is Ukraine, and Merkel promised to do what is needed in order to help.
As a Russian news report put it: “Reassuring each other in their heartfelt friendship, mutual hatred of Russia, and the bright prospects of Ukraine being on the way into Europe, the heads of Government remembered their shared history. Yatseniuk again accused Russia of trying to ‘privatize the history of Ukraine’, referring to the debate on the participation of Ukrainians in the victory over Nazi Germany. The Prime Minister of Ukraine proposed to celebrate 8 May as a day of reconciliation and European solidarity.”
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity, and of Feudalism, Fascism, Libertarianism and Economics.