The Oil Mirage

(Daily Standard) Irwin M. Stelzer - Faced with a congressional report apparently criticizing Saudi Arabia for continuing to fund the mosques and schools around the world in which the violently anti-Western, Wahhabi version of Islam is taught, the Saudis persuaded their co-cartelists at last week's OPEC meetings to continue pumping enough oil to keep prices within OPEC's $22-$28 targeted range. A cutback in Saudi production would have triggered a rise in already-high oil prices, and derailed the emerging economic recovery so crucial to the president's reelection chances. Skeptics argue that Saudi ambassador prince Bandar's skillful spreading of money around Washington buys his country protection and preference. More dispassionate observers point to the obvious fact that America is highly dependent for some 60% of its oil needs on a steady flow of reasonably priced oil imports.

2003-08-07 00:00:00

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