Fracking and Foreign Policy

I am happy to see prominent members of Congress from both parties starting to question our support of the deeply flawed government in Saudi Arabia.  I don't want to make war on them (repeating the Lybia mistake) but I also have been leery for quite a while about supporting a country that funds so much terrorism and is frankly as socially backwards as any place in the world.

So here is my question:  Had it not been for the shale oil and gas revolution in this country, would the US Congress be willing to question this relationship today?


  1. LoneSnark:

    I dunno. I fear that when Congress demonizes foreign governments, it can make it more socially acceptable to make war upon them.

  2. Matthew Slyfield:

    Trying to convince the general public in the US of a sugar coated version of our relationship with a foreign government actively and openly hostile to our values and way of life can make it easier for them to make war on us.

  3. J_W_W:

    And Bernie is anxiously waiting in the wings to throw out all the progress we've made on fracking.

  4. marque2:

    They did make war on us and instead of arresting the war criminals in this country, we gave them FBI escorts home, even though the FBI wanted the ambassadors for questioning.

  5. HenryBowman419:

    The evil Bushies had a long-standing "close" relationship to many of the Saudi Royals. Therein lies the problem. Why Barry hasn't moved on the issue is a different question: perhaps he wants to extract some concessions from them. But, extracting concessions from anyone would be a first for Barry, so I doubt it. Perhaps the Saudis paid his way though college & law school.

  6. ErikTheRed:

    Eh, the implications of losing the petrodollar vastly overshadow the price of oil, at least below $250 a barrel.

  7. Thomas Reid:

    No. We would not have.
    It's such a complex issue. It gets even more complex when you consider what the collapse in the price of oil means to Saudi Arabia when you consider it is a welfare state funded by oil money. As medieval as the current regime is, it may still be orders of magnitude more civilized than what might arise in a revolutiion.

  8. ErikTheRed:

    I don't really see the contradiction in this. Barry's political MO since day zero was to identify the power players in whatever new sphere he entered and to be the absolute best at sucking up to them. It's been remarkably consistent.

  9. mesocyclone:

    We still have a large interest in not having instability in Saudi Arabia. A mess there would cause our energy prices to go way up, because even with all our new production, we are still very susceptible to world oil prices, and they are very susceptible to even small supply disruptions.

    On top of that, anything that helps keep oil prices down hurts our enemies Russia and Iran more than it hurts Saudi Arabia. Russia needs $100/bbl oil just to stay afloat, and is running short of reserves. Iran is probably able to go longer, since they were just handed a huge bonanza with the nuclear "deal." But they still badly need high oil prices.

    It is not silly to support bad regimes if the alternative is worse regimens. And do not be fooled - just saying you don't advocate going to war doesn't mean that we won't be drawn into the quagmire if things go sideways in the Persian Gulf.

  10. Bram:

    Given what has happened in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria - I think we want a stable Saudi Arabia. Imagine if the kingdom degenerated into civil war with billions of dollars and a high-tech military laying around.

  11. Vangel:

    The shale miracle is a Fed enabled fraud. If the producers could not generate a positive cash flow at $86 a harder, what makes you think that shale oil is viai?

  12. Joe:

    environmentalist will go nuts if they had a better concept of science - Frankly fracking is much safer environmentally than non fracking.

    With fracking - you need a lot fewer holes in the ground to produce the same quantity of oil and gas. the risk of environmental damage comes from drilling the hole, not from fracking. By the time the well is ready for fracking, all the potential environmental risks have been solved. (kinda like partial birth abortion - once the baby is born, the risk to the mothers life is virtually zero)

  13. marque2:

    They are profitable at $40 per BBL now - not sure how it is a government fraud since it is mostly banned from federal land. Feds have been doing their best to shut it down.

  14. marque2:

    Why did we go in and support killing Quaddaffi? He wasn't doing anything, he was our Allie and was relatively harmless to his population, which is now run by islamic zealots instead of being non-sectarian.

    Seems like the current president somehow interfered because he wanted the religious zealots in power. Not sure why he did that

  15. marque2:

    We actually are close to self sufficient and do not have the capability to export oil, a shock here wouldn't last too long. We also never really imported that much from Saudi Arabia, I think they are usually our 4th biggest supplier.

    It is Europe that would suffer, and interestingly, they created the mid East problem they should take care of it. Trump is right about NATO, Europe is too weenie to defend themselves or project any kind of force which might help with negotiations because they have become parasitically dependent on Papa US to help them out.