• Jun 5th 2011 at 6:00PM
  • 82
This may sound surprising, but Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal has gone on record saying he wants the price of oil to decrease. Why's that you ask? It's all about the long-term game, says the Saudi Royal Family's stock market and real estate magnate. In a recent interview with "CNN's Fareed Zakaria GPS," Al Waleed admits:

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.

Talal goes on to say that he thinks the price of oil should be closer to $70 to $80 a barrel instead of the current $100/barrel rate. With such high oil and gasoline prices, Talal fears that new technologies are being pushed ever harder to squeeze more and more miles out of each gallon of gas. Further, Talal worries that U.S. efforts to increase its Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards to 35.5 mpg by 2016 and anywhere from 47 to 62 mpg by 2025 (along with automakers' burgeoning plug-in vehicle strategies) could eventually lead to reduced or eliminated dependence on Saudi oil.

[Source: Automotive News – sub. req. | Image: Nestor Galina – C.C. License 2.0]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 82 Comments
      Ford Future
      • 4 Years Ago
      They're also building 20 nuclear reactors. And buying African farm land. The US is the ONLY country in the world NOT preparing for Global Climate Change, because we have the Stupidest Billionaires on the Planet: Koch's. Not just stupid but also racists: John Bircher's.
      Marco Polo
      • 4 Years Ago
      If the oil companies are so evil and immoral, just stop purchasing their products? Seems so simple. become like the Amish!
      russellbgeister
      • 4 Years Ago
      He's got one big problem with thathat its called Iran the greedy warmongering mullahs want more more .and a few other smaller ones oil speculators, eu carbon emisson targets, consuners that have had enough.when auto manufacturers wake up and relise that ev's and alternative fuels will save there collective corperate a$$es the end will be nigh and him and his mates will have to go back to selling camels becuse oil will be $10 bucks a barrel and only plastic manufactures and fertilizer companies will be buying.
        Roy_H
        • 4 Years Ago
        @russellbgeister
        Plastics and fertilizer will be their future business, and although that is not as large as burning oil, it is still substantial business. Furthermore, non-polluting and will make this precious substance last for generations more. Hopefully they will look to future value and leave it in the ground longer. Iran and others will follow whether they like it or not. If Saudi Arabia sells cheap, then they will too, just to keep the money flowing in.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @russellbgeister
        Iran is far more interesting than you give them credit for. By my observation, they really are trying to set themselves up as a regional power and they don't really much care what Americans think of them (for a lot of historical, economic, and cultural reasons). Their government's actions make sense through this lens. That's not to say that I like their nuclear program, or a lot of what their government does. But I do think that writing them off as "greedy warmongering mullahs" doesn't do much to explain the situation -- or to explain Iran's politics and economics. (I had an economics professor who is an Iranian expat, and he had a lot to say about his childhood home during the Tunisian and Egyptian protests. One of the reason that Iran hasn't (and probably won't) fall during the Arab Spring is because, unlike Egypt, the government has managed to maintain the support of the lower class by supporting them economically and by being as socially conservative as they are.)
          russellbgeister
          • 4 Years Ago
          then you explain to me the constant violent protests they are not as happy as you seem to think
      Joeviocoe
      • 4 Years Ago
      See?! It is NOT a "conspiracy". Just business! And with Prince Al-Waleed's multi-billion dollar communication department (Newscorp - Fox News)... he has the power to influence politics in the U.S.
        Dave D
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Joeviocoe
        THANK YOU JOE!!!! Why don't people realize that he is the second leading share holder in Fox News and uses it as a propaganda machine? Why do people believe ANYTHING that Fox News says regarding oil and energy? GEEZ people, please wake up. It's not a conspiracy, it's just business. And why would you go to a store you know is ripping you off just because they produce commercials telling you they're "more American"??? They're not, they are screwing you over!!!!!
      JakeY
      • 4 Years Ago
      @Jake Unfortunately they don't have the abundance of water for it. That's why other forms of solar energy will probably make more sense for them.
      • 4 Years Ago
      When oil was going $140/barrel, I recall the Saudi's saying "Fair price". Now, they want 70-80??? It's not supply and demand, it's "controlled" supply and demand, and they control the supply. I for one believe our energy solution is a combination of many alternatives. These middle eastern guys have blackmailed our economy long enough. Hybrids and EV's are barely on the road and they are already getting concerned. Competition is good for the consumer. - Economics 101.
        • 4 Years Ago
        They aren't contradicting themselves. They're were arguing that the market set the price. And now they're trying to figure out how to get the market price down so that people in the US don't move closer to work or start building a working public-transportation infrastructure. While I don't like what he says, and while he doesn't have *my* interests at heart, he does have an extraordinarily good perspective on these issues. The surprise from this article isn't what he said (I knew this already), but that he actually said it in public.
      • 4 Years Ago
      @Smith Jim But illegality bares no weight. It's like not halting somewhen when you know their actions will kill you both(a passenger). It's not an ethics issue here but a right to survival, a law much more universal.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I know this isn't really the board for this, but these greedy ignorant middle eastern people dont get the consequence of not goin alternative, except their fiscal ones. How much is your money worth when you and your slaves live underground cause the surface is uninhabitable. Hope you have fun with you simulation windows and LED sun/sky.. people just dont get it. I really dont feel anyone know what coming but me. You sit here dancing around the answers setting deadlines 20 years away, while all the world simulations(ibm supercomps) show the world as a desert by then.. Bill gates and the rest of those with enough digits in the computerized banks have 40billion dollar of underground shelters(according to irs/tax documents). I hope you people can learn how to swim in battery acid cause thats your only shot at survival, and not one ev makes the slightest difference, the geological cog are alrdy locked. Best thing you can do is cover the world in steel so the Sulfuric acid will become "spent" quicker feeding off the rust, so the ph will move away from 1.9 globally more quickly, maybe saving a few more remote species to repopulate.. If i had control, there would be no such thing as control.
        Ford Future
        • 4 Years Ago
        Interesting comment. Could you supply some links? My only problem is the oil industry, complete inability to invest in clean energy, or at any meaningful level. Either these company's are going to die, as tech companies, who know how to INVEST, kill them off one by one, or they kill all us off first: FRANCE now in drought, with the possibility of losing 50% of it's wheat harvest. [ Just like Russia in 2010, and now also like Texas 2011 ]
        Joeviocoe
        • 4 Years Ago
        And this is a GREAT example of the conspiracy BS that really confuses, obfuscates and harms our efforts to find real solutions. If we were to just STOP calling oil companies "EVIL" or "immoral" or even "greedy"... we would realize the rational truth that they are only corporations that are as selfish as every other organism (including individual humans). They have resources that the rest of us want... and they want to continue to have their livelihood intact.
        Marco Polo
        • 4 Years Ago
        Brent, you are so right! It's all horrible and hopeless, time to all kill ourselves.....er..you go first...we'll follow..(snicker) ...we promise...(snicker, snicker, )...... Stop stealing DF's medication, or you'll never be released from Trollhaven.
          • 4 Years Ago
          @Marco Polo
          No, I'm talking, your just blowing hot air as unincontrol as a leaf on the breeze. Your small words are silent in the true scheme of things. We'll see won't we, the difference is I'll be ready, and you'll be dying. Luck favors the prepared -Louis Pasteur. Believe it or not I'm aware many great minds have been written off or scorn for such outlandish ideas. As surprising as it may come to you, someone can be that much more informed then you. As far as I've seen, I'm the grown up here. To me you're all brand new. Don't get me wrong, before my enlightening I was much like you. Idle.
          Marco Polo
          • 4 Years Ago
          @Marco Polo
          "Don't talk down to someone who comprehends things far beyond your understanding" , I knew it, 'Brent' you gave yourself away! You are either DF, with another pseudonym, or an equally barking mad clone. Either way, take your silly doomsday apocalyptic nonsense, and play elsewhere . The grown-ups are talking !
          • 4 Years Ago
          @Marco Polo
          You'll find it humorous when you're sufficating to the smell of rotten eggs(sulfur dioxide)(before Jan2014). Don't talk down to someone who comprehends things far beyond your understanding.
        Chris M
        • 4 Years Ago
        Just where is all that sulfur supposed to come from? There isn't that much in fossil fuels, nor is there that much coming from volcanic eruptions, all other sources are utterly trivial. BTW, baking soda and calcium carbonate are far more effective at neutralizing sulfuric acid than steel is, and for real heavy duty acid neutralizing, we could use sodium hydroxide. Your rant reads more like a paranoid fantasy than anything real. But you did get one thing right, your last sentence. It's a good thing you're not in control as it is obvious you're out of control.
        Firefly
        • 4 Years Ago
        no offense, Brent...but...I really don't understand what exactly you are trying to say...
          • 4 Years Ago
          @Firefly
          No offense taken, I wouldn't either without something close to my lifes collective of happenings. You have to have traveled a similar path to interpet where I've end up..
        • 4 Years Ago
        I'm also concerned about climate change, ocean acidification, and the human rights record of the middle east, but I think you're both overstating and understating the point. It's not like climate change is going to make us live underground -- but it is likely to cause mass migrations of people as the location of the "good" agricultural land changes, and we all know how badly those usually go. Even if you were correct, I'd be concerned about the wealth required to build an underground warren -- one of the reasons we don't live underground now is because it's expensive and dangerous. How exactly are a bunch of poor people who cannot afford to live on their ground going to dig a mine, and furnish it with LED sun/sky displays? It's not going to happen; we need to deal with our problems above ground. The "mineshaft gap" is a Stanley Kubrick fantasy. Overstating the case in the way that you did only gives ammunition to the deniers, because they want to think we're all a bunch of liars in it for our own financial gain. The issues are important and real, and we need to deal with them, but they're far more subtle than you suppose. And I suppose I am in it for my financial gain, because I don't want the Midwestern cornfield where I'm currently living to become any less of an agriculturally-supported economy -- so I guess they've got me there...
          • 4 Years Ago
          Just to note, I was speaking of the rich living in these shelters, not any of us. I know the poor don't have the assets to even organize enough food/air for themselves, even in a dirt hole. I was solely refering to those with billions of dollars in golden parachutes. As to the migrations you speak of, that would be if this was a gradual down hill scenario, much like the worlds current self control. As I am not, I refer to an immense occurance leaving days to weeks for reallocation and relocation. Since I don't want to discuss/explain a step by step of what I believe will become I'll put it into a frame you can easily grasp(the aftermath). Let say the planet turns into a desert where you can't breathe outdoors, the clean water is scarce, all remaining vegatation is indoors(or it would die), and you're just hoping everything grows quickly enough that you do not starve.. What would you do in that spot? You'd wish you had been prepared for the situation, and you do all you could to keep yourself and family alive. I just don't want to be in "that spot", and I'm sure you wouldn't either. I wouldn't like the glutonous with parachutes to be the only being left on the planet with me, so I attempt to vaguely warn people when some act of expedience/greed stirs me to do so, to which became my first post on this topic..
        Spiffster
        • 4 Years Ago
        Holy crap! Pass the crack pipe already...
          • 4 Years Ago
          @Spiffster
          Crack kills.
      sirvixisvexed
      • 4 Years Ago
      The prince is immoral and lazy, it has nothing to do with money. If everyone was greedy and MORAL then we'd all be trying to get rich by providing as much as we can to those around us, only enhancing their lives. Laziness is the fault of the mind, not the fault of money. If his country or culture respected being civilized and knowledgeable then his country would have their own auto companies, able to build and get rich off of whatever kinds of cars people wanted. Laziness and ignorance is keeping him from being much richer. Money is never the problem, morality is.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @sirvixisvexed
        "If everyone was greedy and MORAL then we'd all be trying to get rich by providing as much as we can to those around us, only enhancing their lives. " If you believe in the oil business, then this is exactly what he's doing. The oil market looks to me like it's becoming more volatile, with months-long price spikes (my guess based on looking at the oil prices graphs mixed with some intuition, but not substantiated with academic rigor), and that's not doing his business any favors, and it has the potential to disrupt both our economy and his economy. Now, if you think oil is non-sustainable and that pollution, CO2, and sprawl are environmental problems, then he is being immoral. In addition to being concerned about these issues, I don't like being reminded that I'm a dependent-consumer. But he's right about nearly everything -- I moved in with my now-wife during the last oil price spike and, because we were concerned about environmental issues and oil prices, we chose a house that's very close to both of our offices and, in addition to cutting my need for transportation by an order of magnitude, I can also bike to work without using any of his product at all! So, now, if oil prices fall again (as they did for the last couple of years), buying as much gasoline as I could possible want (which he probably believes make my life better, and it has) means buying far less than it did pre-2008. The high oil prices were enough to sway some decisions during a time when changes were easy to make -- but as oil prices stay high, more people (but by no means everyone) will make similar decisions, and start commuting shorter distances and/or walking/biking to work and it will remove the demand for the Saudi's business. That's fine by me, though -- my physical and mental health are far better now that I've replaced an hour a day of being locked in a steel cage (pre 2008) with 40 minutes of exercise and waving at my neighbors (post 2008).
        Marco Polo
        • 4 Years Ago
        @sirvixisvexed
        "The prince is immoral and lazy" "If his country or culture respected being civilised and knowledgeable then his country would have their own auto companies, able to build and get rich off of whatever kinds of cars people wanted. Laziness and ignorance is keeping him from being much richer". I think you are being a little harsh. The Arab culture kept learning alive thought the dark ages. The great libraries of the Arab world created the Renaissance in Europe. The Arabs conceived modern mathematics, etc. Difficult to have an industrial revolution in a nation without Water, Coal or Iron Ore, (or winter) It's a little presumptuous to expect everyone to conform to western culture and values. All this huffing and puffing at the oil sheiks oppression of human rights, is just a tad hypocritical when the PRC, and Israel are equally oppressive, yet the west seems strangely impotent to act. Morality tends to be very subjective. Crusades rarely end with either a moral or positive outcome.
          Marco Polo
          • 4 Years Ago
          @Marco Polo
          The problem would seem to be of a finite duration, since the lifetime of economic transport fuel is relatively short. I agree with you that the offspring of the Saudi Elite will in all likelihood transform themselves into leading citizens of their newly adopted European and US residences, leaving behind a despised impoverished backwater, heavily overpopulated, as a breeding ground for discontent.
          sirvixisvexed
          • 4 Years Ago
          @Marco Polo
          I agree with you marco. My angle is he is lazy and immoral the moment he becomes WORRIED about people waiting to smart up and not buy as much of what he is selling, because he has nothing else to offer. Countries with no natural resources can still be successful if they bring the other natural resource (mental power) to their borders, even if they're in the desert. If "westernized" is them being able to offer more than oil, then yes, they need to be more western! :) If the PRC was complaining and worried about a problem they caused themselves due to low human rights, I would say that they need better human rights as well.
        Noz
        • 4 Years Ago
        @sirvixisvexed
        Please save us the preaching...if it wasn't for the fact that the Prince has something your country's own greedy and corrupt corporations want, you'd not give a rat's a%% about the morality of the Prince....and with the track record of your country, you're a fine one to talk about morality.
          Marco Polo
          • 4 Years Ago
          @Noz
          "if it wasn't for the fact that the Prince has something your country's own greedy and corrupt corporations want, you'd not give a rat's a%% about the morality of the Prince...." Yep, well that's true, because he wouldn't have any money , but breeding poverty can be expensive and dangerous! But you are right, there is a lot of moral hypocrisy involved, which is I guess what you and Sir Vix are both approaching from different routes. ."..and with the track record of your country, you're a fine one to talk about morality." Noz, I 'm not a US citizen?
          Noz
          • 4 Years Ago
          @Noz
          We know that already POLO...I wasn't even addressing my comment to you.
      JSP
      • 4 Years Ago
      @ JakeY: You're right about the water issue. However, I wonder if there are some energy crops that could grow with minimal water. Algae fuel production can be done using sea water and waste water so that might still be feasible.
      Chris M
      • 4 Years Ago
      Oh, Marco, this "Brent" has gone far far past DF in grandiose megalomania! We now have a new Champion Nutter for Autoblog Green! Sorry, Gorr, you'll just have to settle for 2nd place.
      Marco Polo
      • 4 Years Ago
      @ Chris M, I don't think you are yet familiar with some of DF's crazier rants. The similarity in phrasing and some terminology with 'Brent' is very suspicious. But like Levine , and all the other trolls, if enough people challenge them to actually provide some evidence for their rants, they eventually desist and depart . What makes DF a super troll is his longevity, and persistence.
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