Steve A. Yetiv

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The United States is experiencing a boom in oil and natural gas production — one that many people, including Mitt Romney, see as a game-changing, tectonic shift in our energy picture. But while the boom is real, the benefits are less than meet the eye.

The United States produces 1.6 million more barrels of oil each day now than it did in 2008. That’s a significant increase in a world that consumes around 89 million barrels per day, with the United States accounting for about a quarter of that amount. In addition, America’s net petroleum imports have fallen from 60 percent of total consumption in 2005 to 42 percent today.…  Seguir leyendo »

Oil prices are up more than 30 percent from six months ago amid fears that Israel or the United States may strike Iran. Concerns have spread that military conflict would cause a major shock to oil prices, damaging the U.S. and global economies. While the situation is serious, such predictions are unlikely to pan out. Understanding how such fears are exaggerated would clarify the stakes in the standoff and underscore how scholars, market analysts and oil traders often overestimate the effect geopolitical events will have on prices.

For starters, Iran and Saudi Arabia have been at loggerheads since Iran’s 1979 revolution, with Tehran intermittently trying to undermine the Saudi regime.…  Seguir leyendo »