Energy can be a strategic weapon, not just a commodity, and oil production has become a key lever in a price war between the U.S. and foreign oil producers that are targeting the U.S. oil industry.
American producers are up against tough and unfair competition from massive government-owned companies that recently declined to curtail production and plan to continue flooding the market with cheap oil. They can do that, since their goals are not driven by markets but by a desire to regain a stranglehold on international energy.
The U.S. oil industry has been struggling with a glut of crude from overproduction and erratic prices. About two years ago oil was selling for above $100 a barrel but plummeted to under $30 a barrel earlier this year. In response, U.S. production has dropped by as much as 700,000 barrels a day.
Now some U.S. producers and royalty owners want their own government to step in. The Panhandle Producers and Royalty Owners Association and others are pushing for the next U.S. president to impose quotas on oil imports from other countries, except for Canada and Mexico.
Some positive protective action has already taken place.