It is worthy paying close attention when a certain Saudi prince speaks his mind. Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal is sometimes described as the most powerful Arab in the world, thanks to his enormous wealth, business acumen, and influence in the Saudi royal family, which runs the Kingdom as a family fiefdom. Western-educated, he has shown himself to be an effective power broker, owning a 7% stake in News Corporation and donating $20 million each to Harvard and Georgetown Universities, arousing suspicions of undue influence.
The good prince let the world know what the real stakes are in the battle over fracking. Michael W. Chapman of CNS News reports:
Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, a billionaire businessman and nephew of Saudi King Abdullah, said the production of shale oil and natural gas in the United States and other countries, primarily done through fracking, is a real competitive threat to “any oil-producing country in the world,” adding that Saudi Arabia must address the issue because it is a “matter of survival.”