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FROM THIS EPISODE

The price of oil has dropped like a stone in the past few months, and the price of gasoline is going down along with it. While it's good news for drivers -- at least for the moment, is it a sign of long-term weakness in the oil economy?

Later on today's program, Syria's President Bashar al-Assad visits President Putin in Moscow. 

Photo: Oil pump jack in West Texas (Paul Lowry)

Producers:
Andrea Brody
Sarah Sweeney
Christine Detz

Biden's Out for 2016 Presidential Race 6 MIN, 29 SEC

In the White House Rose Garden today, with President Obama and his wife, Jill Biden at his side, Vice President Joe Biden said he's decided not to run for his party's presidential nomination.

Juliet Eilperin, who reports from the White House for the Washington Post, has more on Biden's decision.

Guests:
Juliet Eilperin, Washington Post (@eilperin)

What's Happened to North America's Oil Boom? 34 MIN, 38 SEC

The price of crude oil has dropped by 50 percent in the past year. Shell won't be exploring for oil in the Arctic Ocean after all. In the Gulf of Mexico, leases for new oil wells aren't selling. Tens of thousands of workers are being laid off, from Texas to North Dakota to Central Canada. Hydraulic fracking equipment is lying idle. Is it just another decline in a boom-and-bust industry or the beginning of the end of the oil economy? What's the immediate impact on the American consumer?

Guests:
Severin Borenstein, UC Berkeley Haas School of Business (@borensteins)
Deborah Yedlin, Calgary Herald (@ddyedlin)
David Wethe, Bloomberg News (@davidwethe)
Scott Meske, Williston Area Chamber of Commerce (@wacc_pres)
Philip Verleger, PKVerleger (@pkverlegerllc)

Mr. Assad Goes to Moscow 8 MIN, 55 SEC

It appears that Syria's President Bashar al-Assad is not staying home anymore because he's afraid of a coup. Yesterday he visited Moscow at the invitation of Vladimir Putin, who has been giving military support to Assad's regime.

After their meeting, Putin reportedly promised political assistance, "in close contact with the other global powers and with the countries in the region that want to see a peaceful settlement to this conflict." Ivo Daalder, a former US Ambassador to NATO who is now president of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, considers what that could mean for both military and political developments in the Middle East.

Guests:
Ivo Daalder, Chicago Council on Global Affairs (@ivohdaalder)

More:
Daalder on Russia's role in the Syrian conflict

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