Fury over OPEC, Saudi Arabia builds as Biden examines the possibility of countermeasures

Saudi Arabia has chosen to join with Russia in the twin wars over the price of oil and Ukraine. While Biden has promised to act, Congressional Democrats are calling for harsh measures.

U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee today released the following statement about the decision of OPEC+ to drastically reduce oil production in conjunction with Vladimir Putin:

“From unanswered 9/11 questions and the brutal murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and the propagation of extremism, to dubious jailing of peaceful dissidents and collaborating with Vladimir Putin to punish the U.S. with higher oil prices as well as the Saudi royal family has never been a trustworthy ally of our nation. It’s time for our foreign policy to imagine a world without this alliance with these royal backstabbers.”

“This May in the Senate Judiciary Committee passed the NOPEC Act by an overwhelming decision of 17-4. Given OPEC+’s decision to dramatically reduce production of oil, it’s time for the Senate to pass this crucial legislation during the lame session.”

The No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels (NOPEC) Act would allow the federal government to take action against price fixing conducted by OPEC, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its partners. It would expressly authorize the Justice Department to bring lawsuits against oil cartel members for antitrust violations, and it would clarify that neither sovereign immunity nor the “Act of State” doctrine prevents a court from ruling on antitrust cases that are brought against foreign governments for engaging in illicit pricing, production, and distribution of petroleum products.

U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J .), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee today issued the following statement regarding the future of United States’ relationship with Saudi Arabia following the deadly attacks on cities across Ukraine on Monday:

“I am shocked by Russia’s abominable and desperate escalation of violence against civilian infrastructure in Ukraine — including Kyiv. I vow to employ all the tools at my disposal to accelerate support for the people of Ukraine and to stop Russia’s machine of war.

“That is the reason I must speak out against the Saudi government Arabia’s recent decision to in the financing of Putin’s war via the OPEC cartel. There is no way to play both sides in this conflict – either you support the rest of the world in trying to stop an armed criminal from wiping off an entire country off of the map, or support Putin. Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia chose the latter in a terrible decision driven by self-interest economics.

“The United States must immediately stop every aspect of our collaboration with Saudi Arabia, including any arms sales and security cooperation beyond what is It is absolutely essential to protect U.S. personnel and interests. As Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, I will not green-light any cooperation with Riyadh until the Kingdom reassesses its position in relation to the conflict in Ukraine. It’s enough.”

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