Saudi Arabia and Russia are locked in an oil price war that has dropped the price of crude oil from about $45/barrel to about $23/barrel. With the American shale oil industry in peril, many now look to the United States to intervene.
On March 6th, Russia refused to comply with an OPEC+ decision to limit the supply of oil in response to falling Chinese demand. In response, Saudi Arabia triggered a drop in oil prices and both countries drastically increased production.
The shock to oil prices, along with coronavirus fears, contributed significantly to this month's stock market volatility. The start of the conflict coincided with a 2,000-point drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
The United States became the #1 oil producer in the world in late 2019, largely thanks to an expansion in shale oil production. Since then, oil prices have fallen by about 50%, threatening shale companies' ability to survive.
Food For Thought
What values should drive America's response, or lack thereof, to this crisis?