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Jul 26, 2022

The fallout from Russia’s war in Ukraine has disrupted the global energy market and hiked the price of fuel nearly everywhere around the world. In Europe, which finds itself caught between efforts to cut itself off from Russian oil and Moscow’s firm grip on energy exports, the repercussions of today’s energy crisis are acute. While in the United States, which experienced high prices at the pump, efforts have been underway to resolve the crisis. But how much control does the United States have, and does it require the United States to lean on the shoulder of illiberal partners like Saudi Arabia?


Often referred to as “black gold,” oil plays an important role in international affairs. Still, according to Emma Ashford, an oil and international relations expert, its role is frequently misunderstood. Emma joins the Eurasia Group Foundation’s Mark Hannah to discuss her new book Oil, the State, and War and complicate commonly held misconceptions on oil’s influence on foreign policy. Mark and Emma also break down America’s efforts to address the energy crisis, green energy’s potential impact on geopolitics, and the tangled web that is the global energy market. 

Emma Ashford is a senior fellow at the New American Engagement Initiative at the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security and a nonresident fellow at the Modern War Institute at West Point. She is the author of Oil, the State, and War: The Foreign Policies of Petrostates (2022).