Activism alwaleed

Published on May 31st, 2011 | by Christopher DeMorro


Saudi Prince Doesn’t Want the U.S. to Find Alternatives to Oil

The worst part about America’s over-reliance on oil is that it funnels money into the hands of assholes like Al-Waleed bin Talal, who wants lower oil prices to prevent “the West” from going out and finding alternatives to oil.

In a Sunday interview with CNN’s  Fareed Zakaria, bin Talal says that the price of a barrel of oil needs to be somewhere between $70 and $80 a barrel, rather than over $100 of barrel. Why? To maximize profits, while at the same time discouraging Western governments from seeking alternatives to costlier gasoline. His exact quote is as follows;

“We don’t want the West to go and find alternatives, because, clearly, the higher the price of oil goes, the more they have incentives to go and find alternatives.”

There you have it folks, from the mouth of the Satan himself. Keep oil low to keep America and the West dependent on us. If this isn’t an eye-opening statement well really, I don’t know what is. But every day we stay dependent on oil is a day this dickhead (the world’s 26th richest man according to Forbes) gets to stay in power.

And I’d like nothing more than to see Saudi Arabia be the next country to fall to the Arab Spring uprisings. And it’s already started, despite their best efforts to keep a lid on the inner turmoil. Recently Saudi women, who are forbidden to drive (among many, many other things) by government decree, have taken to the streets without male chaperones as a form of protest before being arrested. It also shouldn’t come as a surprise that bin Talal has donated money to “Palestinian martyrs” and is also a 7% stake holder in News Corp…the same company that owns Fox News, the Wall Street Journal, and other anti-alternative fuel networks.

Seriously, I hate this guy and everything his wickedly corrupt government stands for. I truly believe their days are numbered though, and they know that the only card they’ve got left to play is the crude card. Without oil money, their regime won’t last a week. Get off oil, free a nation. If only it were that simple.

Source: CNN | Image: Reuters

Chris DeMorro is a writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs. You can read about his slow descent into madness at Sublime Burnout or follow his non-nonsensical ramblings on Twitter @harshcougar.

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About the Author

Chris DeMorro is a writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs. When he isn't wrenching or writing, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.

  • David Anderson

    How much somebody wanna bet there are Western troops in Saudi Arabia by this fall?

    • http://Web Nick Maurer

      How much you wanna make a bet Saudi Arabia sets the price of oil and has done so for over 40 years? How much you wanna make a bet they just inked the largest weapons purchase from the US in the history of US Foreign Policy in the Middle East to the tune of $60 billion? How much you wanna make a bet the only time you will see Western troops in Saudi Arabia will be at their request? No go home and ask your friends and family for forgiveness and read more before posting ignorant statements on the Internet!

      • http://Web Jonhnny_balls

        Actually Saudi hasn’t been controlling the price of oil, goldman sachs and morgan stanely have been dictating the price via the futures market.

  • http://Web joewilson

    I can not imagine why there is such vitriol in this article. Intel wants to kep chips low to stave off competitiors like AMD. The closer to fungible a product is the distinguishing characteristic between substitution and dependence is price.

    I believe the inelectic point is between 68.92 and 83.53 per Bbl. It takes credits and subsidies to underwrite the search for alternatives in that range. Above $83, liquified coal and bio-diesel research looks like it could break even with modest productivity gains.

    Give the oil shieks a break, if they want to keep oil low, there are a great number of things from fertilizer to transport that will benefit.

    Just my 2 cents worth!

    • Christopher DeMorro

      @ Joewilson

      Why the vitrol? Because the Saudi’s do not want our country to make progress on the energy front so we will remain beholden to them. That’s why. You use Intel as an example of a company wanting lower prices; however, Intel also knows it needs to advance technology as well as keeping prices down. There is no advancing crude oil technology. Oil is oil is oil; the best we can hope for are fuel-frugal vehicles. Or, we can continue to push for alternatives to oil, from natural gas to EV’s to hydrogen, which has the potential to improve life for all of Earth’s citizens.

      But why would the Saudi’s want that?

    • http://Web Jonhnny_balls

      This must be a troll attempt.

    • http://Web Tim Smith

      You clearly didn’t read about the antitrust fine Intel had to pay

  • http://Web Paul Skrzyniarz

    Here is the funny part about this whole thing. We only get a small percentage of our oil from the Middle East. Yet we let them dictate the cost of barrel. Just shows you, people dont run this government anymore, it the corporations.

  • http://Web oldfoxbob

    Right now I could stand some cheaper gas price while we still seek cheaper alternatives. This guy may be a rich son of a b***h but he is our key to cheaper gas prices. Let him do his thing while we do ours.

    • Christopher DeMorro


      That’s your rationale? We need cheap gas, so who cares if this guy uses his oil wealth to suppress human rights and turn back the clock on advancing technology?

      Give me a break.

  • http://Web phoenix1

    This has been the game since the 1960s when OPEC was founded. Price stability either upward or downward to smooth revenue.

    Don’t freak out. There is very little correlation between the price of oil and demand. During the last decade oil prices have increased about 5x, but our consumption has been growing. Even when oil was $140, demand didn’t fall appreciably until our economy collapsed. Even with alternative technology available, people still keep burning oil for passenger cars at record rates which is precisely why the speculators have started gouging the living hell out of everyone. The US populace has not given any indication that it will actually reduce oil consumption regardless of the price or the technologies available. Consumption patterns are cultural.

    The price of oil is not driving the consumption function so why would you get angry that someone is trying to reduce the price? Perhaps b/c you understand subconsciously that fear and hatred are the only things that have generated results regarding oil consumption during stable economic times? Lower prices will only help our economy, it doesn’t guarantee that people will stop looking for alternatives. They give phonebooks away for free and people still don’t use them b/c the internet is superior in every way. Why is it impossible to make efficient vehicles that are superior in every way to the current gas-guzzling behemoths we drive now? Furthermore, we don’t even know if Saudi Arabia can/will raise production. Maybe they are simply posturing to shoo away the fly by night energy traders who are trying to flip a buck. They drive up costs, and they contribute to a negative cultural narrative regarding oil in the US.

    If you told someone from 1999 that gas would be $3 per gallon, they’d sell their SUVs and move into the city. If you tell someone from 2011 that gas will be $3 per gallon, they’ll take out a third mortgage on their house to buy a new truck. What does that tell you? Fear, not the actual economics of price, is driving the madness. Fear is not easily controllable or sustainable, and people are doing a great disservice to themselves and their country when they suppose that fear is the way forward or that the economics of price (e.g. higher taxes) will improve anything.

    We live in the US. We make markets and we break markets b/c our labor rates force us to be on the leading edge of technology. We made PCs, internet, mobile communications, social media, blogging, and a myriad of other digital inventions. We can create a market for alternative energy or fuel efficient vehicles. We are not slaves to price.

  • http://RSS AdamB

    Christopher, I could not agree with you more. We only get about 28% of our oil from OPEC yet they dictacte 100% the price of a barrel of oil.

    Alternative energy is not a fad. It is a commitment at all levels of government federal and state. For example, our President could sign an Executive Order today requiring every auto manufacturer to have one diesel sedan for sale in the US biodiesel-capable or NOT be EPA certified. This would increase the market for biodiesel and increase adoption for the 2012 model year. But he doesn’t. Because these “big ideas” about “winning the future” don’t occur in a vacuum.

    Biodiesel from domestic oil sources is a strong alternative to foreign oil/fuel. We need to stop funding the degradation of women, public beheadings and gladhanding that happens with Saudi Arabia. Bush took 70K troops out of Saudi Arabia and now we have ZERO leverage.

    We need to restore our footing in the Middle East by putting troops back into Saudi Arabia (a hard condition for the sale of arms?) and reignite alternative energy programs in America!


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  • http://Web t_

    Why do you say this guy is the Satan? He sells petrol and his country has nothing else to offer. It is absolutely normal, that he wants do be able to do that as long as possible.
    I’m actually not sure which is best – to have higher petrol prices(which will in turn make higher the prices of almost everything aroud us), which will lead to new energy sources research, or to have lower energy prices, until we have a viable new energy source. For sure “revolutionary” transitions to new technologies brig damage and disruptions with them. Therefore, I hope the transition from petrol will be nice and slow, and hopefully cheap.

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  • http://Web Ella

    The women driving protests have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the so-called Arab Spring uprisings, though I can see how the uninformed might think so happening across this as a news item. This is a social issue that has cropped up there numerous times and is an ongoing subject of debate. Please do not take things out of context to try to suggest this is indicative of some sort of “inner turmoil” in the country.

    Also, I really don’t see the problem with what Prince al-Walid said, he is only being honest. You need to hate less and think more.

    • Christopher DeMorro

      @ Ella

      Fair enough, regarding the right-to-drive issue and the Arab Spring, though I still think it is indicative of the kinds of regimes our oil money is supporting.

      But as far as what the Prince said, the problem I have is that him and his family are actively engaged in holding back the progress of humanity regarding alternative forms of energy. After a century of relying on a single resource that may or may not be running out (and certainly is getting more expensive to both buy and extract) it is time to diversify. What doesn’t the Saudi Royal family exploit their vast, sunny deserts and build a multi-million megawatt solar array, and then sell the power to neighboring countries, perhaps even as far away as Europe? That’s a long term solution with long term profits.

      But as long as the oil money keeps flowing in from the West, al-Walid and his family will continue to try and hold back progress on other fronts. I can hate and think at the same time, you know.

  • http://Web Turbofroggy

    I love stories like this. It just reenforces the reasons why I drive an EV. Every mile I drive my Ford Ranger EV, each mile that turns over is one big FU to OPEC. Ding, another mile, ding another ding another FU OPEC. 47,900 gas free FU miles and counting.

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  • http://Web Scott

    Chris, I understand your angst, and maybe your profanity works for other people, but in my opinion it takes away from the legitimacy of your message — which is too bad, because your point is a pretty good one.

    OPEC has a limited supply of a resource so they need to maximize the total return from it. Not surprising… Priced too low, it goes to waste. Priced too high and it stunts demand in the short term and encourages alternatives in the long term — neither of which is in their best interest.

    If you or I had a finite resource, we’d be reinvesting some of that windfall in other industries to protect our future. Unfortunately, the price of protecting the future of such Middle Eastern royalty is oppression — and the encouragement of radical islamic groups and schools that essentially keep the “freedom genie” in the bottle (locally).

    The political connection between arming these regimes with US weaponry and our own oil-driven society is undeniable. However, climate change has introduced an element that has much less to do with the price of oil. (Which the Saudis, Goldman and others can influence, and distort, but not control.)

    Sure, we can argue about the need for government incentives for alternatives, but with $$trillions of venture money going into clean energy technologies, something tells me that this well-connected group might give green a seat at the table for the first time. Techhology WILL make alternatives competitive, replacing oil and coal as our primary energy sources. And the Saudi prince better be hedging his bets…

    • Christopher DeMorro

      @ Scott

      I get very frustrated sometimes, because I have no problem with people making money, as long as it isn’t to the detriment of other people.

      The thing is, these oil sheikhs have a fast, untapped resource the covers their whole country; the sun, and what’s more, they have the money to dump into research to get the most return for their investment. But they seem content to just keep cranking up oil production, rather than invest in something else that is cleaner, easier to access, and potentially much more financially rewarding than oil.

      More than anything, I feel like oil is holding America back, as we continue to rely on regimes that don’t like us, even if what we import from them is just a small percentage of what Americans use.

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