WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Kevin Cramer (R-ND) and Dan Sullivan (R-AK), members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, led a nearly two-hour call today between a group of senators and Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud, and Deputy Defense Minister, Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.
“While we appreciate them taking the first step toward fixing the problem they helped create, the Saudis spent over a month waging war on American oil producers, all while our troops protected theirs. That’s not how friends treat friends,” said Senator Cramer. “Their actions were inexcusable and won’t be forgotten. Saudi Arabia’s next steps will determine whether our strategic partnership is salvageable.”
“While I appreciate that Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud, took the time—nearly 2 hours—to update my Senate colleagues and me on the current state of play with other OPEC members, it’s important to remember that Saudi Arabia’s announcement on March 6th that it would massively increase production to over 12 million barrels a day greatly exacerbated the turmoil in global energy markets, at a time when the world was dealing with the coronavirus pandemic crisis,” said Senator Sullivan. “States, like Alaska, continue to suffer from this turmoil today—tens of thousands of hard-working Americans have been laid off and independent energy companies have been forced to close up shop. While, in recent days, Saudi Arabia has been making commitments to decrease oil production and to play a constructive role in global energy markets, actions speak louder than words. The Kingdom needs to take sustainable, concrete actions to significantly cut oil production, and it needs to do so soon.”
The high-ranking defense and energy Saudi officials on today’s call highlight the efficacy of the legislation Senators Cramer and Sullivan introduced to remove troops from Saudi Arabia and relocate them elsewhere in the Middle East. Learn more here.
Also joining the call was Saudi Arabia Ambassador to the United States, Royal Highness Princess Reema bint Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, whom Senators Cramer and Sullivan have spoken to multiple times during this dispute.
Joining Senators Cramer and Sullivan on their call with the Saudis were Senators James Lankford (R-OK), Cory Gardner (R-CO), John Cornyn (R-TX), John Barrassso (R-WY), Ted Cruz (R-TX), John Kennedy (R-LA), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and John Hoeven (R-ND).
“We again spoke with Princess Reema, the Saudi Energy Minister and Deputy Defense Minister about the importance of stopping the oil price war and providing stability in global energy markets, especially with the challenges of decreasing demand during the coronavirus pandemic,” said Senator Hoeven. “The agreement by Saudi Arabia and Russia to stop flooding the market and to cut production is a step in the right direction. U.S. producers are driven by global market conditions, and going forward we will work to restore balance to the market and ensure these state-run oil companies are held to the agreement. At the same time, we will continue our efforts to support U.S. oil and gas producers, including working to fund purchases of domestically-produced oil for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR).”