Sunday’s statement by a Democratic senator from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was that there were “repercussions” following the move of Saudi Arabia and a cartel of major oil producers to cut oil production last week. The White House called the move “shortsighted” as it hurt low- and middle-income countries.
“There have to be consequences. It doesn’t matter if it lifts the cartel’s immunity, or rethinking troop presence there, security relationship, I think it’s time for the Saudis to admit that they aren’t looking out for us,” Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy stated, referring specifically to the US military presence in the Middle East.
The senator stated that for years, we have watched as Saudi Arabia chops up journalists and engages in massive political repression. This was because we wanted to know if the Saudis would choose Russia over us when the chips are down, during a global crisis.” They didn’t. They chose Russia.
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, (OPEC), and its allies, including Russia and Saudi Arabia, announced last week that they will reduce oil production by 2,000,000 barrels per day. This is the largest reduction since the outbreak of the pandemic. It’s a move that could push gasoline prices higher, just weeks before the midterm elections in the United States. After its March 2020 first meeting, the group announced a production cut. This reduction corresponds to approximately 2% of global oil consumption.
In a statement, the Biden administration criticized the decision calling it “shortsighted” as well as stating that it was harmful to certain countries that are already facing high energy prices.
The production cuts will begin in November. OPEC+, which combines OPEC members and allies like Russia, will be meeting again in December.
On Sunday, Murphy also supported Biden’s meeting earlier in the year with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. He said that he didn’t object to American presidents meeting with their friends or enemies.
Senator McCain stated that the US-Saudi relationship was “broken” under Democratic and Republican presidents. He also acknowledged that it was clear that they didn’t get enough out of their meeting.