Here’s an iron rule of oil politics: when gasoline prices go up, calls to crack down on speculators increase alongside them. The current situation is no exception. Some who are calling for an SPR release argue that it would succeed by punishing, and thus deterring, speculation. (In the memorable words of one man interviewed by the New York Times, an SPR release would “spank the speculators”.) Others are calling for direct restrictions on speculative activity. Read more »
Bob McNally, one of the smartest obsevers of the nexus of energy and politics around, published a provocative note last Thursday on the recent evolution of OPEC and what it means for global oil markets. In light of what’s been going on in the Middle East, I thought it would be worth excerpting at some length. Here’s how he starts: Read more »
The jump in oil prices over the past month or so has clearly been driven by what’s going on in the Middle East and North Africa. That’s why most analysts assume that when things (presumably) calm down, oil prices will drop back to previous levels too. And so long as oil prices don’t stay high for a prolonged period, the economic impact should be relatively small. Read more »
Energy, Security, and Climate examines policy challenges surrounding energy, security, and climate change.