In response to OPEC’s decision to reduce oil output by 2 million barrels per day, which is anticipated to increase gas prices in the US, three House Democrats are launching a measure to remove American defense systems from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
After President Biden attempted to reach an understanding with Saudi Arabia and the UAE, representatives Tom Molinowski of New Jersey, Sean Casten of Illinois, and Susan Wild of Pennsylvania criticized both OPEC nations. The House members said that the United States should reexamine its connections with both countries.
The three Democrats issued a joint statement saying that “Saudi Arabia and the UAE’s drastic cut in oil production, despite President Biden’s recent overtures to both countries, is a hostile act against the United States and a clear signal that they have chosen to side with Russia in its war against Ukraine. “To safeguard their security and oil fields, both nations have historically relied on an American military presence in the Gulf. There is no justification, in our opinion, for American troops and contractors to continue serving nations that are overtly hostile to us. Saudi Arabia and the UAE ought to turn to Putin for protection if they wish to assist him.”
The House members continued by describing OPECs decision as “a turning point in our relationship with our Gulf partners” and stating that the UAE and Saudi Arabia must cooperate with the U.S. “in advancing what is now our most urgent national security objective: the defeat of Russia’s aggression in Ukraine” if they want to maintain their relationship with the U.S. They asserted that “OPEC’s decision appears tailored to increase Russia’s oil export profits, enabling Putin to continue his war crimes in Ukraine and undermining Western sanctions” by sharply increasing world oil prices.
KEVIN BOOK: OPEC OIL CUTS LEAD TO HIGHER GAS PRICES
Their legislation, the “Strained Partnership Act,” borrows almost the entire text of a 2020 bill introduced by Republican senators Kevin Cramer, R-North Dakota, and Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska. Both bills stipulate that within 90 days of their passage, “all United States Armed Forces and equipment, including Patriot missile batteries and the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system”) must leave Saudi Arabia. The new Democratic bill states that the United Arab Emirates’ defenses should also be dismantled, which is the only distinction between the two laws.
According to API President, OPEC’s cuts are extremely bad news for American consumers.
The removed missile batteries and THAAD system should “to the extent practical, be relocated to another place or locations in the Middle East, with the priority purpose of defending United States Armed Forces,” according to the bill, which is similar to its predecessor in this regard.