The Israeli lobby is generally not happy. They don’t like the Iran deal. The Saudi lobby (smaller but still powerful) is probably nearly as unhappy. Now the game begins on the Hill.
Many believe that the precipitous decline in the price of oil that the world just saw was Saudi Arabia’s reaction to Obama cozying up with Riyadh’s sworn (literally) enemy, Iran. Saudi Arabia essentially dropped an “oil bomb.” The blast from which the world appears to have absorbed for the most part.
Now the spigots are still on but the flow of oil isn’t increasing. As such the price of crude has more or less stabilized at between $45-$55/barrel. The bombing for the time being has stopped, or at least isn’t escalating.
Weird happenings in another very crony country, Argentina.
Cheap gas feels good. It made for a more pleasant Christmas. But it should be remembered that many of the very best, highest paying jobs created since the onset of the great economic slowdown (in 2013 oilfield workers in North Dakota made on average over $112,000/year – many without a college degree) in the USA have been in the energy sector, and primarily in hydraulic fracking. Say what you want about the practice but it has been a (the?) key source of economic growth (such as it has been) for the United States over the last 4 years. Additionally, and this is not well known, fracking has (and the cheap natural gas which has come with the practice) pushed down USA carbon emissions markedly. As of October 2013 carbon emissions were at 1992 levels and dropping. Think about that. If one is concerned about global warming, and we know some of our readers are, that should be cause for celebration.
And before people start freaking I out, I have absolutely no horse in the fracking race. In fact there is a pipeline scheduled to go in just south of me transporting fracking product from West Virginia to the coast which I am not terribly keen on.
Saying this however the fracking revolution has been a huge benefit to the US economically and at least as important from a geopolitical perspective. We are now a net exporter of oil. We are the biggest producer in the world! 5 years ago people would have laughed at the idea that our reliance on foreign oil could be reduced so quickly, if at all.
Guess who doesn’t like the Iranians almost as much as Israel? Saudi Arabia. And the Saudis are very unhappy about the spread of Shiite influence through the upper Middle East, and apparently in official corners of Washington. The princes fear a rising Iran, and that, according to Black is why the Saudis are moving now.
Some people sure appear to be.
I suppose we’ve come full circle. It is we who helped create the Mujaheddin in Afghanistan, the guerrilla army which morphed into Al Qaeda. Now again we may be fighting on the same side. We appear to have learned nothing from our 3 decades of wandering (while being shot at) in the desert.
The governments of the world are relentless.