Feb 2, 2010

The Nabucco Con

Buried in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal (page B9, right above the weather) was a curious interview with Nabucco Pipeline Director Reinhard Mitschek. In addition to revelations that Mitschek chalks up a lot of frequent flyer miles, he drops this bomb:
"Nabucco is not designed to substitute Russian gas…Nabucco is designed to offer complementary alternative gas quantities.”
Hold the phone.

After serving as a centerpiece of the EU’s import strategy for more than a decade, the icon of non-Russian diversification, the subject of endless conferences, op-eds, reports, and speculation -- hell, the Czechs even made Nabucco an agenda item for their once-in-a-generation EU presidency -- the pipeline was never designed to substitute Russian gas?

What the hell, Reinhard?

If true, then: 1) Nabucco is the greatest con ever perpetrated on the European people, or 2) Mitschek is desperately trying to spin the fact that he’s building a pipeline to nowhere and can't live up to the hype.

We suspect it's answer #2. But let's at least try for a little honesty.


nimh said...

Or 3) Nabucco is of course intended to substitute for Russian gas, but its Director believes he cant be seen brazenly admitting that, so he has to apply a fog of words to hide the fact. Hence the dizzying spin about how it will instead merely "offer complementary alternative gas quantities". (I mean, what is that even supposed to mean?)

Pirates(and)Diplomats said...

Great point, nimh. It's a fog of words.