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Power Play: U.S. oil production provides foreign policy flexibility

The worldwide embargo of Iranian oil would not have been possible without the increased production by American oil companies.
by Adam Wilmoth Modified: July 12, 2012 at 5:28 pm •  Published: July 13, 2012

Even before the strictest sanctions took effect, Iranian exports dropped to about 3 million barrels per day in June, down from about 4.2 million per day one year ago.

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The Iranian sanctions would not have been possible just a few years ago.

In 2005, removing Iranian oil from the world market would have driven global prices to stratospheric levels, crippling economies as gasoline, plastics and other products would have become prohibitively expensive.

But today, most consumers barely notice.

The average price for a gallon of gasoline is 26 cents less expensive today than it was one year ago, according to AAA. The country's electricity rates are falling because of increased use of domestic natural gas. Chemical prices are falling because of lower-price natural gas and natural gas liquids.

In May, retired Marine Maj. Gen. Anthony Jackson told me the United States and its allies would look at conflict in the Middle East differently if the country were less dependent on foreign oil.

“It would allow us to take a more balanced look at our foreign policy,” Jackson said. “It would significantly reshape our foreign policy with respect to the Middle East.”

It appears that the general's predictions already are coming true.

by Adam Wilmoth
Energy Editor
Adam Wilmoth returned to The Oklahoman as energy editor in 2012 after working for four years in public relations. He previously spent seven years as a business reporter at The Oklahoman, including five years covering the state's energy sector....
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