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Mark Barteau for Fortune: Why a Production Freeze Won't Fix the Oil Collapse

Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away, the news of “collusion” between Russia, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Qatar to freeze petroleum production would have been greeted with howls that this was a declaration of economic war. It would have prompted frenzied calls for “Energy Independence” and for dramatic increases in alternative domestic energy supplies, especially in the hyperbole-laden rhetoric of an election year. Ah, but the place was not so far away nor the time so long ago. Every U.S. president from Richard Nixon to Barack Obama has unambiguously declared the need to end America’s dependence on foreign oil and with it our vulnerability to supply limitations imposed by other powers. We have seen that movie, its sequels and its remakes, before.

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