The Washington Post reports:

With the global economy at a tipping point, a deeply divided Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries meeting in Vienna wrangled over whether to cut production and prop up crude oil prices.

Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter and the cartel member with the greatest latitude for tightening or opening its taps, arrived vowing to maintain its output and hold the line on quotas for the group. Other OPEC members, led by Iran and Venezuela, have wanted to trim output quotas to boost the price of oil.

Analysts said they expect no change in the end. …

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Although oil prices have slumped about 22 percent since the beginning of May, they remain high by historical standards and are a drag on weak economic recoveries in the United States and Europe. Saudi Arabia has kept its output around 10 million barrels a day to prevent the global economy from slowing so much that it permanently damages demand for oil.

If your first response was “This is why we need to drill more domestically!,” you should probably know that price manipulation isn’t unheard of closer to home.

It is too bad that there is no way that the world can generate electricity and power vehicles without having to rely on fossil fuels. Imagine how much money there would be to be made! The government could invest in businesses that made that a focus and, barring a few stumbles, undoubtedly recoup that investment many times over. The world would be a better place in so many ways.

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But that’s just science fiction, obviously.

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