The Future Of Oil
October 7, 2022
Who Runs The World? Oil!
On Thursday, OPEC+ announced that the oil-producing bloc is planning to cut its oil production by around 2 million barrels per day to raise oil prices as they continue to drop globally. At the same time, the White House took a relatively unsurprising step in its never-ending quest for oil, no matter the moral cost when it announced it would be scaling down sanctions on Venezuela’s authoritarian government, allowing Chevron and other oil corporations to resume operations in the country.
For the OPEC+ move, there’s obviously a monetary component to the production cut – the global economy is currently shrinking, dragging down oil prices, and producers had a taste of gasoline glory earlier this year as gas prices hit massive highs in June of this year. But as markets have begun cooling off this fall, oil producers want to show the world that they’re still a force to be reckoned with – and if prices continue to rise, OPEC’s power over the markets will be on clear display.
As for the U.S.’s deal with the devil down in Venezuela, the country hopes its new partnership with Maduro’s government will prove fruitful for all parties involved. Through the deal, the U.S. sets up a long-term oil-producing partner separate from OPEC and Russia. The people of Venezuela benefit through a larger state budget to provide food, medicine, and power with the possibility of legitimate 2024 elections on the table, at least for now. President Maduro, whose government has been described as a dictatorship, stands to gain both increased funding from lifted sanctions and oil money, everyone’s favorite currency. Unfortunately, the deal hinges on the dictator’s “interim” government entering dialogue with the opposition in good faith. Surely if negotiations break down, the U.S. won’t continue to deal with the authoritarian state – right? (NPR, WSJ ($))
It’s time to play… Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader (if that 5th grader read a TON of news). Test your knowledge of recent world news with this short quiz. Submissions must be made by 12pm EST Monday, 10/10. The winner, announced Wednesday, will win bragging rights for the week as well as a free Daily Pnut t-shirt.
Love Thy Neighbors, But Never Actually Make A Deal With Them
- U.S.-led talks over a maritime deal between Israel and neighboring country Lebanon were scuttled Thursday after Israel rejected Lebanese comments on a draft agreement that the Israeli government claimed were a “material breach” of the text, whatever that means. As the talks progressed over the past week, both sides looked to be heading towards a solution for a dispute over a potentially gas-rich, 330-square-mile area of the Mediterranean Sea that might be valued at billions of dollars. An Israeli gas rig over the area is nearing completion while Lebanese political party Hezbollah has stated that the rig crosses a red line for the country.
- The talks sunk over a line of buoys that Israel wants to be anchored down to demarcate an international border. The country had left the buoys after it pulled out of Lebanon in 2000, and has been fine with moving the border up until this week’s negotiations. According to Israeli officials, if the line of buoys floats to the south, it will allow a line of sight from the Lebanese side to the northern coast of Israel. Lebanon stated that it would not recognize the floating devices as a real international border, also rejecting a clause that would give Israel “veto” power over gas exploration over the disputed area.
- Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid reportedly “made it clear that Israel will not compromise on its security and economic interests, even if that means that there will be no agreement soon.” The country’s Defense Minister also chimed in, stating that “We are not trigger-happy, but we are prepared,” if Lebanese forces should attack the Israeli rig. The breakdown in negotiations makes it unlikely that a deal will be reached before Israel’s elections on November 1. (Axios)
Additional World News
- Netanyahu leaves Jerusalem hospital after overnight stay (LAT, $)
- Swedish MEP cuts hair during speech in solidarity with Iranian women (Reuters)
- U.S. Aims to Turn Taiwan Into Giant Weapons Depot (NYT, $)
- Greece: 21 dead, dozens missing, after 2 migrant ships sink (AP)
- Child deaths in Gambia linked to cough syrups made in India, says WHO (CNN)
- Mexico mayor assassinated in town hall massacre (BBC)
- Thailand massacre: Children among at least 36 people killed at child care center (CNN)
- Sweden seizes evidence at Baltic Sea pipeline leak site (AP)
“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.” – Marie Curie
A Toke Of Genius
- On Thursday, President Biden announced that all people convicted of marijuana possession under federal law would be pardoned, and added that the administration will investigate whether or not marijuana should remain a Schedule 1 drug. The move could provide another good boost for Democrats as the midterms approach.
- Biden said the classification of marijuana, which places it alongside heroin and LSD, “makes no sense.” The pardons will clear about 6,500 people who were convicted on federal charges of simple possession of marijuana from 1992 to 2021, and many more from Washington D.C. as well. (NYT, $)
Dreams Deferred (Indefinitely)
- A panel of three judges from the conservative-leaning 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is unlawful, but said current enrollees could renew their status. “Today’s decision is the result of continued efforts by Republican state officials to strip DACA recipients of the protections and work authorization that many have now held for over a decade,” President Biden said in a statement.
- The court allowed for the current 594,000 DACA enrollees, often called “Dreamers,” to maintain their status, but will block new applications. Dreamers can obtain work permits, a Social Security number, and, in some states, receive driver’s licenses and financial aid for education. Biden added, “while we will use the tools we have to allow Dreamers to live and work in the only country they know as home, it is long past time for Congress to pass permanent protections for Dreamers, including a pathway to citizenship.” (Reuters)
Additional USA News
- NPR poll shows Biden’s approval rating is up but there are warning signs for Democrats (NPR)
- A pastor was part of the Jan. 6 mob — then preached about it, FBI says (WaPo, $)
- A professor was shot dead on University of Arizona’s main Tucson campus. A suspect is in custody, authorities say (CNN)
- Post Politics Now: Biden heads to New York to herald IBM’s major investment in Hudson Valley (WaPo, $)
- Woman who said Herschel Walker paid for abortion also has child with him (Guardian)
- Texas executes John Henry Ramirez, who won religious-rights Supreme Court case (WaPo, $)
- Trump’s latest delay tactic over Mar-a-Lago documents may not work for him at the Supreme Court (CNN)
Kwon The Run
- In a legendary fall from grace, Terraform Labs founder and cryptocurrency developer Do Kwon is facing the prospect of having his South Korean passport canceled if he does not turn in the document by October 19. Interpol has also issued a “Red Notice,” reserved for fugitives who are wanted for prosecution or to serve out a sentence, for the disgraced developer.
- Kwon’s Terraform Labs is largely regarded as the reason for the massive cryptocurrency crash earlier this year. After the company’s controversial cryptocurrencies, terraUSD and luna, crashed in May, roughly $60 billion worth of value was wiped from crypto markets, sending shockwaves throughout the global marketplace. South Korean officials have accused Kwon and five others of violating capital markets law and fraud, and are actively looking to arrest the former crypto-kingpin.
- Kwon insists that he is not on the run from the law, though South Korean officials have stated they are in hot pursuit. Supporting Kwon’s claims that he is doing just fine, there has been no warrant issued for his arrest. However, Korean prosecutors have asked two crypto exchanges to freeze over $60 billion in bitcoin tied to the crypto-fugitive, with local media reporting that a further $39.9 million of Kwon’s digital assets were also frozen, though he disputes the second claim. Maybe if he had those funds in a real wallet he’d be fine. (CNBC)
- Annie Ernaux is the winner of the 2022 Nobel Prize for literature (WaPo, $)
- 15,000 rainbow fentanyl pills concealed in Lego box were found largest seizure of the drug in NYC history, DEA says (CNN)
- As children line up at gender clinics, families confront many unknowns (Reuters)
- Northern Hemisphere’s extreme summer drought ‘virtually impossible’ without human-made climate change (CNN)
- A look at the top contenders for the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize (WaPo, $)
- New York University professor fired after students say his class was too hard (Guardian)
- Musk’s “super app” vision (Axios)
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