By Dan Weissmann
If OPEC doesn’t decide to cut oil production when it meets in Vienna this week, some say oil could fall to $60 a barrel. Lower costs sound like bad news for the oil industry and good news for the rest of us.
But it’s not that simple. There are other losers – and a chance that $60 oil could end up being bad news for all of us down the line.
The oil boom has produced one big set of winners outside of the traditional oil business: the whole economies of oil-producer states like North Dakota and Texas.
“The places where the booms have been occurring have largely benefited from increases in land and housing prices,” says economist Michael Greenstone, director of the University of Chicago’s Energy Policy Institute. “They’re now going to give some of that back.”
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