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A Synergistic Success:
The 2012 G8 Camp David’s Global Oil Market Governance

John Kirton, G8 Research Group
May 19, 2012, 15:30 CT

The “Statement by the G8 on Global Oil Markets” represents another Camp David Summit success. It showed the smart synergies that the G8, as a forum comprehensively covering economics, development and security, can make when governing at its best. The Camp David Summit proactively and preventively looked ahead to the “substantial risk to global economic growth” that the “likelihood of further disruptions” in oil sales would bring. It diplomatically but firmly forged the energy-security link, knowing that the most likely disruption was to come from Europe ending its imports of Iranian oil, in an effort to dissuade Tehran from seeking the capability to acquire a nuclear bomb. Camp David thus provided reassurance to a recession-ridden oil-dependent Europe that it would not have high oil prices to add to its economic woes in the coming months, and that it could safely end its import of Iranian oil, as scheduled, in July. It similarly reassured Americans, worried about their economic growth and the high prices they might have to pay for gas at the pumps. It thereby gave a boost to Obama’s re-election campaign, as high gas prices reliably hurt the incumbent president’s popularity and re-election prospects a great deal. It was noteworthy that Russia, not a member of the International Energy Agency (IEA), allowed the release of this G8 statement that called on the IEA to act if need be. Here the presence of Dmitri Medvedev rather than Vladimir Putin as Russia’s representative seemed to be a plus. And the G8 prudently promised to “stand ready” to call upon the IEA to act, rather than lock all in by issuing a blank cheque in advance.

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