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US lawmakers fume at Saudi Arabia for OPEC+ move to cut oil output

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Oct 07, 2022 - 05:29 AM

WASHINGTON (AA) – The decision by OPEC+ to reduce oil production this week has angered several US lawmakers, with some calling for halting Washington’s alliance with Saudi Arabia.

OPEC+ agreed Wednesday to cut production by 2 million barrels per day from the August 2022 required production levels, starting in November. Riyadh and Abu Dhabi threw their weight behind the decision.

The decision is a “clear” sign that the bloc is siding with Russia amid a growing power rivalry with the West, the White House said Wednesday.

American lawmakers had a strong reaction to the move, with mostly Democrats making their views known.

Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut said there must be a reevaluation of the alliance between the US and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

“I think it is a mistake on their part. And I think it’s time for a wholesale re-evaluation of the U.S. alliance with Saudi Arabia,” the Democrat senator told CNBC.

Democratic congressman Ro Khanna from California urged the White House to retaliate against Saudi Arabia in response to the “outrageous” move.

“This is beyond the pale,” Khanna told CNN. saying the Saudis “are actively fleecing the American people and destabilizing the economy. That’s just outrageous. Who do they think they are?”

“The Saudis need to be dealt with harshly. They are a third-rate power,” he said.

Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois called for “a world without” a Saudi-Washington alliance.

“From unanswered questions about 9/11 & the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, to conspiring w/ Putin to punish the US w/ higher oil prices, the royal Saudi family has never been a trustworthy ally of our nation. It’s time for our foreign policy to imagine a world without their alliance,” the Democrat senator wrote on Twitter.

Senator Bernie Sanders said OPEC’s decision to cut production is “a blatant attempt to increase gas prices at the pump that cannot stand.”

“We must end OPEC’s illegal price-fixing cartel, eliminate military assistance to Saudi Arabia, and move aggressively to renewable energy,” said the two-time Democratic presidential candidate from the state of Vermont.

Tennessee Republican Senators Marsha Blackburn said combined OPEC countries are one of the largest holders of US debt, adding that “we have no leverage, and yet Biden is begging them for oil.”

“Turn off the spending spigot and open our oil and gas spigots to become energy independent again,” she said.

Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat from Connecticut, called for consequences for Saudi Arabia, accusing the kingdom of siding with Russia.

“Saudis siding with Russia—a deeply offensive blunder. Unconscionable at this moment in world history. There must be consequences,” he wrote on Twitter.

“The US must revisit & revise military supplies & sales, & other security aid to Saudi Arabia & rebalance this one-sided relationship. Saudi Arabia cannot turn to other defense suppliers unless they wish to partner with Russia, Iran, or China for far inferior systems,” he added.

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