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America Is Experiencing Its Own Unique ‘Oil Curse’

Alaska oil pipeline

The phrase "oil curse" typically refers to developing countries that are economically and politically dependent on the black gold for stability. But more recently the term has been used to describe US oil-dependent states that are being plunged into a recession by falling prices.

Alaska, Louisiana, Oklahoma and North Dakota all face billion-dollar-plus budget deficits as tumbling oil prices tear away severance taxes, MarketWatch reports. How these states weather this storm could largely determine their fiscal futures for the next decade, experts say.

Though oil prices are recently on the rise thanks to OPEC's deal to limit supply, the rise hasn’t come close to closing the gap—oil prices are still down 60% from 2014 highs. [MW]