While OPEC Meets, Oil Prices Continue to Plummet

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.


With oil prices plummeting below $40 per barrel, OPEC is meeting to decide what to do. The answer is…. probably nothing:

Oil prices dropped Friday as traders braced for official word out of a highly anticipated meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. Prices slid following conflicting media reports that OPEC had either kept its oil-output target unchanged or increased it. There was also confusion as to whether production in Indonesia, which just rejoined the group, will be included in the target.

….An internal OPEC document reviewed by The Wall Street Journal showed that, if current production remains unchanged, markets will still be oversupplied by 700,000 barrels a day in 2016….The key issue for OPEC is Iran, which is expected to return to the global oil market after the lifting of the international sanctions early next year. Analysts say the country could quickly ramp up production by around 500,000 barrels, adding to the oversupply of crude.

Between fracking, Iran, and slow demand growth thanks to the sluggish global economy, oil prices just aren’t likely to increase in the near future. This is:

  • Good news for consumers, who get cheaper gasoline.
  • Probably bad news for global warming, since it makes cleaner fuel sources uncompetitive with oil.
  • Bad news for OPEC members, which might be bad news for the rest of us. Low prices probably mean cutbacks in government services, which in turn could lead to more widespread unrest. Needless to say, this is not something the Middle East needs right now.
  • Good news for Hillary Clinton, since the fortunes of the incumbent party have historically been better when gas prices are lower.

Oh: and bad news for us peak oil folks. I don’t have any worries that we’ll hit peak oil eventually, but the Great Recession sure put off the date. I had long figured that 2015 was going to be the peak date, but it now looks like it will probably be 2020 at the earliest, and maybe more like 2025 or so.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate