I'm skeptical of conspiracy theories alleging oil market manipulation by the U.S. and Saudi Arabia -- mainly because I think any good conspiracy requires a level of sophistication and competence this administration lacks. But I can also understand why this situation seems so suspiciously convenient for this administration at this time.
Yes, dropping oil prices inflict some well-deserved pain on nasty oiligarchs like Vladdy Putin. But they also serve several other important ends for this White House, in terms of its domestic agenda.
Plummeting oil prices have given the economy a boost, like no Obama "stimulus" efforts have, and they also might help silence the growing congressional chorus in support of the Keystone Pipeline project, potentially taking a lot of pressure off the obstructionist Obama. It's also important to remember that this White House -- despite all its "all-of-the-above" energy rhetoric -- is no real friend to the US fracking boom, which green groups view as a climate hazard and renewable energy racketeers don't like either, since plentiful and affordable natural gas make it harder for their green energy gimmickry to compete.
Slowing or halting America's fracking revolution will please the environmental left, which seems absolutely gleeful about the hurt this could put on domestic energy producers, if prolonged. And the renewable energy racket probably will only suffer a temporary slowdown, since oil imports actually have little connection with electric generation in this country.
So is this a lengthy way of conceding that these conspiracy theories just might have merit, given the benefits they bestow on this floundering President? Almost. But I still can't believe this bunch of bumblers could pull off anything this diabolically brilliant, given the across-the-board incompetence they've shown.
If there was some collusion, it was most likely a Saudi idea.