OPEC+ Oil Cuts Prompt Congress To Call For Reexamination Of Relationship With Saudi Arabia

Following the announcement by OPEC+ that they will reduce oil production by two million barrels per day, Congress has called for the United States to reexamine its relationship with Saudi Arabia.

It is believed that the cuts in oil production will drive prices higher at the pumps, just as prices had begun to drop. The announcement also takes place just before the Nov. 8 midterm elections.

The Biden administration immediately condemned the decision by OPEC+ to make the production cut, which was even larger than some had feared. In terms of retaliation, the White House has yet to clarify its plans.

“There are a lot of alternatives, and we haven’t made up our minds yet,” said President Joe Biden on Thursday.

Congressional members have also criticized the move, calling for legislation to cease U.S. military aid to Saudi Arabia, a key member of OPEC+. Some are viewing it as a slap in the face from the Middle Eastern nation, especially given Biden’s meeting with Prince Mohammed bin Salman in July.

“From unanswered questions about 9/11 & the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, to conspiring w/ [Russian President Vladimir] Putin to punish the US w/ higher oil prices, the royal Saudi family has never been a trustworthy ally of our nation,” tweeted Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) on Thursday. “It’s time for our foreign policy to imagine a world without their alliance.”

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) stressed the need to stop supplying Saudi Arabia with weapons.

“The Saudis need us more for weapons than we need them,” Khanna said. “President Biden should make it clear that we will cut off weapons if OPEC+ doesn’t reverse the decision to make drastic cuts in production.”

“In Congress, we should also explore ways to rein in OPEC+’s control over energy prices worldwide,” Khanna added.

Other members of Congress have called for a lawsuit against OPEC+ members for antitrust law violations, or even bringing charges against them before the World Trade Organization.

The U.S. will now lean on its oil reserves as it weighs its options for mitigating the OPEC+ production cuts. According to the Energy Information Administration, oil production in America is up three percent since January at a rate of 12 million barrels per day.