U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today led an effort joined by five senators urging U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to take an aggressive stance against the efforts of Saudi Arabia and Russia to destabilize America’s oil and gas industry – a key part of the domestic economy – amid a global pandemic.
Sens. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., John Hoeven, R-N.D., Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., James Inhofe, R-Okla., and Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, also signed the letter.
In a letter sent today, the senators wrote that the “Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Russian Federation have embarked upon economic warfare against the United States” and warned that “by taking advantage of a confusing situation and desperate time,” Saudi Arabia, in particular, “risks its bilateral relationship with the United States.”
The senators wrote that Saudi Arabia should instead be encouraged to “partner with the United States on strategic energy infrastructure projects,” “leave the antique OPEC cartel immediately,” and “join the United States on the global stage as a free market energy powerhouse.”
Their letter concludes by reminding Secretary Pompeo of his authorities, as well as authorities held by other U.S. officials and the U.S. Congress, should Saudi Arabia and Russia continue their ill-timed oil price war.
“The United States retains enormously powerful tools at our disposal. In addition to the various types of aid and assistance we already provide – none of which should ever be offered perpetually and unconditionally – we are reminded of the levers of statecraft the Administration is empowered to exercise. From tariffs and other trade restrictions to investigations, safeguard actions, sanctions, and much else, the American people are not without recourse. In addition, following the enactment of S. 2040, the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, Congress is also willing to contemplate revisiting any relevant antitrust authorities and support for the war in Yemen.”
The full text of the letter to Secretary Pompeo can be found here.
This is the third letter Murkowski has signed as she works to help stabilize the American oil and gas industry, which is key to jobs, economic growth, and many state budgets. Last week, Murkowski joined her colleagues in urging the Saudi Crown Prince to help stabilize global oil markets, and in requesting that U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross investigate excessive oil-dumping by Saudi Arabia and Russia.Murkowski is Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.