Update: Jan. 7
A downside of lower overseas oil prices is that US companies have a lot of debt and higher extraction costs. Saudi Arabia, which has lower costs, can try to undermine USD energy independence by flooding the market temporarily. Defaults on bonds could happen and harm investors, as well as result in many layoffs of employees. The lower prices may affect the pipelines issue, too. Wall Street Journal story by Erin Ailworth, Russell Gold and Timothy Puko, here.