Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Matt Towery: Export Oil

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Matt Towery: Export Oil

Article excerpt

Just eight years ago we were watching candidates for the GOP and Democratic nominations for president start their first series of debates. In their last major televised contest before the Iowa caucus, Republicans debated such topics as Iraq and social issues.

The housing crash was hardly mentioned.

Now we face another potential economic crisis -- one the Obama administration could help resolve, or at least make less severe. But it appears the situation is not being taken seriously enough.

Readers will recall that just a year after that 2007 presidential debate the housing, mortgage and financial industries had virtually collapsed. With just weeks to go until the November 2008 election, the nation's economy was in meltdown and a stunned public blamed the party in power and its nominee, Sen. John McCain.

Once again we have a series of economic problems boiling right beneath the surface. And once again our leaders seem completely out of touch.

In June 2014, media were reporting a drop in the price of oil. (There are various types and grades that are sold, but for simplicity, lump them together as simply "oil.") But even well into the summer of last year, many news reports were repeating the same old mantra that prices would rise as vacationers hit the roads.

It wasn't until late 2014 that headlines began to appear warning Americans of a steep drop in oil prices. At first it was heralded by many as great news for consumers, who would reap benefits in savings at the pump. But recent reports confirm that there has been no real boost in consumer spending as a result of falling gasoline prices.

So here we are at the same point in the election cycle as we were in 2007. This time it is a glut of oil driving down prices combined with decreasing worldwide consumption that is the central part of what could be a major economic crisis. And with the potential nuclear agreement with Iran, that nation's oil could suddenly flood the market, further depressing the price of U. …

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