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Oil-Consuming Nations Must Form Their Own Anti-OPEC+

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin (R) shakes hands with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman during a meeting on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Osaka on June 29, 2019. (Photo by Yuri KADOBNOV / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read YURI KADOBNOV/AFP/Getty Images)

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s complicity with Russian President Vladimir Putin in violating a Saudi-US agreement to lower oil prices underscores a simple reality: OPEC+ must go.  The oil cartel’s purpose was monopoly pricing. Its side effect has been catastrophic volatility. Its current mission appears to be to knee-cap the world’s last chance to avoid climate catastrophe.

By slashing production by 2 million barrels a day when oil was already at $90 a barrel, the two petro-tsars have just tipped their hand: They intend to lock in $100 oil prices, straining most of the world’s economies at a time when they’re already contending with inflation, food shortages and continued supply chain disruptions. The higher price benefits not just Russia and Saudi Arabia, but Iran’s ayatollahs and Venezuela’s anti-democratic President Nicolas Maduro.