By Ralph Peters
This week, oil fell through the price floor of $60 a barrel and gas at my local filling station was $2.26 a gallon.
That’s great news for commuters and almost every business, but wonderfully bad news for our ugliest enemies.
If oil prices remain low through next year, the effect on rogue governments, from the Russian Federation to Venezuela, will go from damaging to devastating.
But Western economies (and China’s) stand to benefit, with cheap oil possibly tickling Europe’s snoozing markets awake. Even most underdeveloped states will get a welcome break.
This price plunge has been driven by Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s dominant power. While it’s true that part of Riyadh’s actions respond to the energy renaissance in North America, the greater motivation is breaking Iran’s will.
The Saudis believe they can no longer rely on the US to contain Tehran’s imminent nuclear threat, so they’re out to do what our lukewarm sanctions couldn’t.
There’s no love lost between the Saudis and the Russians, either. The Saudis want the Assad regime in Syria to go. Moscow props it up.
The Saudis aren’t doing any of this to help us, but it helps us just the same. Now the key issue is: How long will prices stay low?
Markets can be unpredictable, but an emerging global glut of oil, decreasing demand and greater efficiencies suggest that petroleum products should remain relatively cheap — with fluctuations — for the next few years.Read more