Murkowski Condemns Attacks on Saudi Oil Facilities

September 17, 2019

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today delivered the following remarks about this weekend’s drone attacks on energy facilities in Saudi Arabia.

“I want to start today not with the topic of our hearing, but the topic dominating the headlines and that’s the attacks over the weekend on Saudi oil infrastructure, which have threatened Middle East security and rattled global oil markets. 

“I condemn these attacks – I think all of us do – and those who perpetrated them. I have read the classified briefing available to all members. I spoke last night with the Deputy Secretary of Energy. And while the details and impacts are still publicly emerging, it is clear our intelligence and national security teams have a lot of work to do, in concert with our partners in the region. 

“This is a difficult situation, that’s putting it mildly, but as I look to where we are today, I think we also recognize that the impact that we are seeing could be worse. Over the weekend we saw 5.7 million barrels of oil go offline. Yesterday WTI closed at less than $62 a barrel. I think we will likely see higher gasoline prices in the days and weeks ahead, which is never a good thing. But I urge the committee, I urge all of us, to think about how much worse the situation could have been just 10 or 12 years ago. 

“These attacks are a reminder that there is no substitute for American energy production, which has grown into a stabilizing force for world markets. 

“They are a reminder of the importance of good policy that recognizes the global nature of modern energy – think about how markets would have reacted, and what our allies would be asking, if we hadn’t lifted our crude export ban back in 2015. 

“These attacks are also a reminder that we need to maintain a robust and functional Strategic Petroleum Reserve, and not simply treat our emergency stockpile as an ATM to pay for unrelated spending…I talk about that all the time, this is just a reminder of why we want to make sure that we have reserves at the ready.

“I will certainly be paying close attention to this situation in the days and weeks ahead. But for anyone wondering why so many of us believe that supply matters – American supply, from places like my state of Alaska – now you know. Our production creates jobs, generates revenues, helps keep energy affordable, and strengthens our national security.”

Murkowski, chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, spoke at the beginning of a committee hearing focused on mineral use and sourcing in clean energy technologies.