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Schumer rips Saudi Arabia over oil production cuts edit

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) blasted Saudi Arabia for backing oil suppy cuts, saying that Congress is looking at its options on how to best handle the “appalling and deeply cynical action.”

His comments come in the wake of OPEC+ announcing its plans to reduce oil production by 2 million barrels per day despite America’s calls for the energy alliance to increase its output to help ease the uptick in gas prices.

“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 tweeted Thursday.

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The NOPEC legislation looks to alter antitrust policies to allow lawsuits against OPEC+ member countries and their businesses.

His comments echo those of the White House, with national security adviser Jake Sullivan and National Economic Council Director Brian Deese releasing a statement calling the move “shortsighted.”

“The president is disappointed by the shortsighted decision by OPEC+ to cut production quotas while the global economy is dealing with the continued negative impact of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. At a time when maintaining a global supply of energy is of paramount importance, this decision will have the most negative impact on lower- and middle-income countries that are already reeling from elevated energy prices,” they said.

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“In light of today’s action, the Biden Administration will also consult with Congress on additional tools and authorities to reduce OPEC’s control over energy prices,” the pair added.

Republicans have hit Democrats on the issue, saying their policies have left the country “flat-footed” and that a stronger emphasis should be placed on domestic production.

“It is deeply regrettable that the U.S. is essentially caught flat-footed by this agreement. The Biden administration has had more than a year and a half to prepare for this turn of events, including more than seven months since the start of Russia’s catastrophic war against Ukraine, but failed to do so. Instead of approving key projects and reforming the broken processes that hold them back, the administration has sold unprecedented volumes from our emergency oil reserves,” Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) said in a statement.

“OPEC+’s latest agreement highlights what many of us have known for a long time: there is no substitute or equal for U.S. oil production,” she added. “If there was ever a time for the Biden administration to reverse course and work with our energy producers, instead of against them, it is right now.”

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