King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia is the mastermind behind the recent worldwide oil glut, but he died in January 2015. Salman bin Abdulaziz, Abdullah’s half-brother, has taken control, which is a cause for concern. Salman is 79 years old and known to have dementia. His reign will likely be brief, which is another reason to worry. In line for the thrown are the four sons of Abdullah and all of them do not like President Obama or Hillary Clinton due to what they perceive as “lamentable” Middle Eastern policies.
Due to the continued loosening of economic sanctions by Obama, Iran may soon have a nuclear weapon; perhaps several of them. No longer economically constrained, Iran has also secured conventional domination over much of the Middle East. Formerly pro-American Arabs are worried and beginning to defect. After the fall of the Yemeni government, Iranian-backed Houthi rebels seized control. Despite Yemeni being mostly Sunni, the Houthi are puppets and the strings are dangled by Shiite Iranians. Their war cry is: “God is great. Death to America. Death to Israel.”
Without Yemeni as a base, the U.S. drone war against al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula will soon vanish. Syria is in even worse shape. Mullahs have come to Bashar al-Assad’s aid with funds, weapons, and Iranian revolutionary guards. They have also convinced their Lebanese proxy, Hezbollah, to take up arms. In short, now flush with billions due to the removal of sanctions, Tehran has successfully exerted enough control in the region to further its war against Israel.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia is caught in the middle. To their west and north, Iran is bent on Shiite domination across Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon. To the east and south, Iran is in control of Yemen. How do the Saudis respond? The only way they can: by creating another oil glut. They know that Iran needs prices to be around $135 per barrel to stay within budget. Nuclear weapons aren’t cheap.
Saudi Arabia is one of the most important countries in the world. In one afternoon, with the wave of a king’s hand, they can control and manipulate large swaths of the world’s economy. They can take entire countries to the brink of bankruptcy simply by pumping out enough oil to exceed demand.
Despite this sobering fact, the Obama administration has repeatedly ignored and even angered the Saudi regime. During her time as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton visited Saudi Arabia to discuss oil prices, but otherwise acquiesced to Obama’s policies—most of which angered the Saudis. If she is elected president, this fact could open the door for Vladimir Putin to create a disastrous scenario.
For now, lower gas prices feel good in the U.S., but this will soon turn into an economic quagmire. Experts have shown that the energy sector has accounted for most of the economic growth in the U.S. over the past several years. Now, due to Saudi oil price manipulations, tens of thousands are being laid off by large energy firms. If this continues, a terrifying scenario will transpire.
President Nixon switched the U.S. from the gold standard to the “petrodollar” standard in 1973. This means global financial transactions, especially for energy sales, are backed by oil and not gold. Most Americans know nothing about the petrodollar, even though it’s the backbone of the U.S. economy and its demise will create an economic collapse not seen since the Great Depression. That is why Putin is collaborating with China to switch the world from the petrodollar to the Russian petroruble. Economic sanctions levied over the Ukrainian crisis have only served to fuel Russia’s fire. The U.S. pushed Saudi Arabia to lower oil prices in an effort to thwart Putin’s plans, but to no avail. Russia signed a $400 billion gas deal with China, and they will make all trades in rubles, not dollars. By 2018, this deal could spell the end of the petrodollar, especially if Putin can convince the new king of Saudi Arabia to play along.
If Hillary Clinton is elected president, Putin will leverage the Saudi’s discord with her to convince them to stop backing the petrodollar. If this happens, the U.S. economic system will unravel almost overnight. Banks will fail, stocks will crash, home values will plunge, jobs will disappear, and millions of Americans will be left homeless and starving. Impossible? Not according to a vast number of geopolitical and economic experts.
The answer? Innovation. Despite rhetoric to the contrary from Obama, technology has not robbed the U.S. of jobs. Over the past 30 years, internet technology alone has added millions of jobs and over $100 trillion to the U.S. economy. The U.S. needs another internet innovation, but this time in the energy sector. What if there was a revolutionary invention that could convert ordinary salt water into fuel while actually removing carbon from the atmosphere? Such an invention would prevent Putin from manipulating the petrodollar by providing China and other customers with a non-polluting and cheaper alternative to Russia’s gas. Also, it would help turn down the dial on climate change. Is such a thing even possible? Yes, and it already exists.
The U.S. Navy has a working prototype, but they lack funding and awareness to bring it to life. Perhaps it’s time for politicians to stop bickering and posturing for votes, and explore innovative ideas like this to help defeat Putin and halt climate change before it’s too late.
William Craig Reed is the New York Times bestselling author of COLD WAR III: HOW THE U.S. NAVY CAN DEFEAT PUTIN AND HALT CLIMATE CHANGE, now available for pre-order wherever books are sold.