Republicans jumped the shark last week in apoplectic frenzy after President Obama secured enough support in the Senate to ensure Congress will not block U.S. participation in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), popularly referred to as the Iran nuclear deal.
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) said it would lead to a "holocaust" and that the United States is "at existential risk."
Rep. Steven King (R-IA) said the Iran nuclear deal represented "a seminal moment in the history of the world," saying it "means to [sic] tens of millions of lives down the road."
Marco Rubio said lifting the sanctions would allow Iran to bolster its defensive capabilities and "raise the price of us operating in the region," apparently unaware of the millions of Americans who don't want the U.S. military operating in the Middle East at all.
At the same time, CNN reported Iran plans to increase oil production as soon as possible after the sanctions are lifted, adding approximately 1.5 million more barrels per day to the world oil supply by the end of 2016.
Isn't anyone even curious if there is a connection?
Oil has bounced off its August low of $38 per barrel, but most analysts believe it remains in a downtrend. It has cost hundreds of thousands of jobs in the oil industry and depressed earnings for Exxon, Chevron and others in the sector.
Slower economic growth in China and other developing economies have contributed to weaker demand, while fracking and other innovations have combined with increased production by OPEC nations to increase supply. Both of these trends are likely to continue in the near term, meaning the price of oil will remain under pressure.
The oil industry has been able to deal with these economic realities the way firms always deal with economic cycles. They've cut costs and adjusted their near-term expansion plans to reflect their best estimates of where the market will be for the next six months, one year, etc. That's all they can do about the general economic conditions above.
What if they can do more about significant new production from Iran?
What if their lobbyists are telling U.S. Congressmen they must at all costs see that the sanctions remain on Iran?
What if the ridiculous arguments that Iran could ever be a threat to the United States are just a desperate attempt to somehow, some way, keep Iran's oil supply off the market and shore up the falling price of oil?
What if lifting the sanctions would allow Iran to finally breathe life into its Iranian Oil Bourse, which will trade oil in euros and other currencies besides the U.S. dollar?
Why do most Americans not even know the Iranian Oil Bourse exists?