Schumer rebukes Saudi Arabia for ‘cynical’ move to cut oil supplies
Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) says Saudi Arabia will wind up paying the price for what he called its “deeply cynical action” of supporting a 2 million-barrel cut in oil supplies, which will put more pressure on the American economy.
OPEC+, which is led by Saudi Arabia and Russia, announced this week it would cut oil production to prop up falling prices, offsetting President Biden’s decision earlier this year to tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to lower gas prices amid reduced supply because of the war in Ukraine.
“What Saudi Arabia did to help [Russian President Vladimir] Putin continue to wage his despicable, vicious war against Ukraine will long be remembered by Americans. We are looking at all the legislative tools to best deal with this appalling and deeply cynical action, including the NOPEC bill,” Schumer said in a statement.
The NOPEC bill, which passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee in May, would change U.S. antitrust law to expose OPEC+ member countries and their oil companies to lawsuits.
It would allow the attorney general to sue companies such as Saudi Aramco and Russia’s Lukoil in federal court.
OPEC+ announced its plans to slash production despite an intense press by the Biden administration to keep supplies flowing at high capacity.
Biden traveled to Saudi Arabia in July to make his case in person to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Biden said this week’s decision by OPEC+ was “a disappointment” and said, “there are problems.”
The president told reporters “we are looking at alternatives” to make up for the reduction in OPEC+ supply but cautioned “we haven’t made up our minds yet.”