DIPLOMACY: First Shots in the Energy War

Across a global front, the battle was joined last week. On one side stood the U.S., determined to drive down the high price of oil; on the other was OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries),* equally dedicated to maintaining its enormously profitable marketing policies, which have quadrupled the cost of oil in the past year. So far, nothing more lethal than verbal salvos has been fired. Looming in the distance, however, are more dangerous weapons: political and economic pressures and possibly—as a desperate last resort —military intervention.

The first round in what...

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