When oil prices rise so does interest on Capitol Hill: Fuel for Thought

On the morning of July 24, NYMEX front month crude oil futures were trading just above $69/b, roughly $20/b higher than they were a year ago, and Jason Bordoff had to tell a US Senate committee why. In testimony before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Bordoff pointed to the collapse of Venezuela’s oil sector, uncertainty around the OPEC-led supply cut agreement, strong oil demand, the looming re-imposition of US sanctions on Iran and brewing trade wars. For Bordoff, a former energy policy adviser to President Obama and founding director of Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy, this was familiar territory. Back in April 2016, Bordoff testified before the same committee about why oil prices had fallen below $49/b. “While oil prices are low today, it is far from clear they will remain low,” Bordoff said at the time. “The oil industry has long known cycles of boom and bust, and there are many factors today that may combine to cause a price spike more quickly than anticipated.” DON’T BLAME US Congressional hearings on the cause of oil and, in turn, gasoline prices are a frequent occurrence on Capitol Hill. They are usually more frequent and spirited when… continue reading

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