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Saudi Arabia calls for oil output cuts

Speaking at a conference in Abu Dhabi, Saudi energy minister Khalid Al Falih said "there will need to be a reduction of supply from October levels, approaching 1 million barrels." CNN's John Defterios reports.

Posted: Nov 12, 2018 8:04 PM
Updated: Nov 12, 2018 8:04 PM

The killing of Saudi critic Jamal Khashoggi confirms what we already know: The US alliance with Saudi Arabia is not built on shared values. This is a relationship sustained by mutual interests, namely oil for security. From Wahhabism to hate speech to incitement and women's rights, the US has compromised on its values repeatedly.

Whatever steps Congress and the Trump administration take to punish the kingdom, there is a line that cannot be crossed. Elements of the US-Saudi strategic partnership remain vital to US interests — especially Riyadh's role as the world's swing oil producer. The kingdom's massive oil wealth keeps global oil markets balanced and prices relatively low.

If America really wants to start distancing itself from its unhappy marriage with Saudi Arabia, it needs a plan. The Saudis recently unveiled their plan to become less dependent on oil. It's called Vision 2030. Washington needs a Vision 2030, too.

Even if Saudi Arabia was not an imperfect or troubling ally, the US needs this vision. The US must adopt a national strategy for a post-oil future. Without energy independence, or at least a serious plan for a post-oil future in mind, Washington will find itself stuck in the past. A national strategy for a post-oil future would boost the US's geopolitical flexibility and leverage around the world, ending its need to rely on less-than-ideal partners. Such a blueprint would enable the US to pursue both interests and values equally, finally breaking Washington's long-standing dilemma with the Saudis and other allies in the Middle East.

On a policy level, an American Vision 2030 could include providing subsidies or indexing tax credits for electric cars that would incentivize increased ownership of electric vehicles. It could include government funding to boost R&D efforts at companies like Tesla or Lucid Motors to help them develop more cost-effective models. It could include a spending package to build a large, well-connected charging infrastructure network.

America's vision for energy independence could also include policies to promote a competitive market for alternative transportation fuels, breaking the gasoline monopoly. A healthy alternative fuel market would free the US from its overwhelming dependence on Saudi Arabia to stabilize oil markets. And alternative fuels like ethanol can be sourced domestically, meaning the US need not rely on foreign actors to balance fuel prices.

A US Vision 2030 might ironically even propel Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030. A competitive fuel marketplace would likely lower oil prices and thus decrease Saudi government revenue, further underscoring the imperative of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's plan to diversify the Saudi economy away from oil as quickly as possible. An added bonus: Decreasing Saudi oil rents will also likely reduce the pot of money available for those in the kingdom still funding extremist ideologies at home and abroad.

The Khashoggi affair is doubtless the worst crisis between the US and Saudi Arabia in recent memory. We've been through other crises in the past, including the attacks of 9/11 and the Arab oil embargo after the 1973 Yom Kippur War. After each crisis, we went back to business as usual. But perhaps this time is different.

Perhaps this is a wakeup call. The US has for too long sacrificed values for interests with many Middle Eastern partners. An energy-independent America could act from a position of values with all of our Middle Eastern partners, representing a sea change in the US's regional relationships. Washington's leverage would increase vastly, finally enabling the US to vocally demand change that the Middle East so badly needs. This is the change that Jamal Khashoggi called for — and an outcome Khashoggi would embrace.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 295001

Reported Deaths: 3535
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin624331107
Ramsey26238493
Anoka20851224
Dakota20527189
Stearns13245106
Washington13220111
St. Louis8141108
Scott798154
Wright720338
Olmsted639934
Sherburne552241
Clay473356
Carver443213
Blue Earth395813
Rice393335
Kandiyohi378719
Crow Wing344731
Nobles301429
Chisago29799
Otter Tail288820
Benton285847
Winona266629
Mower248523
Douglas242235
Polk238223
Morrison224027
Lyon206711
Beltrami202517
McLeod198511
Becker194015
Goodhue190628
Steele18336
Itasca179123
Isanti179016
Todd173912
Carlton170414
Nicollet154925
Freeborn14795
Mille Lacs145131
Le Sueur141111
Waseca135911
Cass133310
Brown131215
Pine12788
Meeker11638
Roseau11074
Hubbard107523
Martin105520
Wabasha9941
Redwood87518
Dodge8230
Chippewa8157
Watonwan8104
Cottonwood7942
Renville77322
Sibley7564
Wadena7476
Aitkin71729
Rock7149
Pipestone69618
Houston6534
Fillmore6510
Yellow Medicine61511
Pennington6137
Murray5623
Kanabec55713
Swift5448
Faribault5251
Pope5071
Clearwater4817
Stevens4813
Jackson4581
Marshall4508
Lake3916
Unassigned38659
Koochiching3675
Wilkin3605
Lac qui Parle3513
Lincoln3331
Norman3307
Big Stone2962
Mahnomen2834
Grant2566
Red Lake2033
Kittson2027
Traverse1391
Lake of the Woods941
Cook630

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 223783

Reported Deaths: 2330
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk33166333
Linn13991164
Scott1100384
Black Hawk10795134
Woodbury10255124
Johnson940036
Dubuque913491
Story674921
Dallas629057
Pottawattamie617069
Sioux366725
Webster357033
Cerro Gordo349644
Marshall346345
Clinton322840
Buena Vista302214
Muscatine282668
Des Moines282419
Warren276411
Plymouth270641
Wapello251571
Jones228413
Jasper214643
Marion202919
Lee199416
Carroll196422
Bremer192612
Henry18107
Crawford174115
Benton167418
Tama153340
Jackson143013
Delaware141021
Washington138214
Dickinson135810
Boone134811
Mahaska126127
Wright12226
Buchanan115410
Clay11504
Hardin114010
Page11144
Hamilton11009
Clayton10875
Harrison106629
Cedar106213
Calhoun10607
Kossuth10426
Floyd103916
Mills10297
Fayette102210
Lyon10188
Butler9916
Poweshiek98213
Winneshiek95812
Iowa93012
Winnebago91323
Hancock8547
Louisa84916
Grundy84611
Chickasaw8424
Sac8407
Cherokee8214
Cass80222
Allamakee79011
Appanoose77910
Mitchell7794
Humboldt7635
Shelby76111
Union7576
Emmet74924
Guthrie74115
Franklin73421
Jefferson7062
Madison6764
Palo Alto6474
Unassigned6470
Keokuk5777
Pocahontas5572
Howard5489
Greene5170
Osceola5171
Ida48113
Clarke4774
Taylor4603
Davis4548
Montgomery45011
Monroe43912
Adair4298
Monona4272
Fremont3553
Van Buren3545
Worth3540
Lucas3226
Decatur3160
Audubon2952
Wayne2957
Ringgold2082
Adams1652
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