An economist says that U.S. policy in the Middle East is driven by baseless fears that an “oil weapon” can cut off our fuel supply.
Roger J. Stern argues that the decades-old belief that petroleum-rich Persian Gulf nations must be appeased to keep oil flowing is imaginary and the threat of deployment of an “oil weapon” is bogus. He contends that untapped oil supplies are abundant, not scarce.
The real security problem, according to Stern, comes from market power. Persian Gulf oil producers collude to command artificially high prices that could never exist in a competitive market, producing excessive OPEC profits.