Washington, D.C.—In response to today’s announcement by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to extend its production cuts for a further nine months until March 2018, Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) President and CEO Robbie Diamond reiterated his call for Congressional action through H.R. 545 to understand and counter the impacts of OPEC on U.S. national interests.
“The decision to extend November’s production cuts with OPEC and non-OPEC countries is just another attempt by those holding the world’s cheapest oil reserves to manipulate prices in their favor and distort market fundamentals,” said Diamond. “These countries exert influence over oil prices and markets, which are a make-or-break factor for the U.S. economy. It is the responsibility of policymakers to pass this introduced legislation in Congress that would help us understand our vulnerability to OPEC’s actions, and how their control over the physical oil market impacts U.S. producers and consumers of oil.”
Last week, reports of an agreement between Saudi Arabia and Russia to extend the November 2016 agreement for an additional nine months led to crude prices rising by more than 10 percent, prior to reaching five-month lows earlier this month on the view that OPEC’s efforts to rebalance the market were insufficient.
“OPEC’s actions are a driver of oil price volatility. Now is the time to support long-term policies that will reduce our reliance on these countries, and focus on supporting domestic supply while making strides to provide fuel choice and fuel efficiency here at home,” Diamond concluded.
The United States alone accounts for 20 percent of the world’s daily oil requirement, and the U.S. transportation sector is 92 percent dependent on oil. The creation of an OPEC commission provides an opportunity to better understand our vulnerability to the actions of countries and organizations that undermine free-market principles.
The commission would consist of 16 members chosen by leadership in both houses of Congress and appointed by the President of the United States, and would provide policy recommendations to protect the American consumers and industries that are most affected.
About Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE)
Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) is an action-oriented, nonpartisan organization that aims to reduce America’s dependence on oil. Near-total dependence on petroleum in the transportation sector undermines the nation’s economic and national security, and constrains U.S. foreign policy. To combat these threats, SAFE advocates for expanded domestic production of U.S. oil and gas resources, continued improvements in vehicle fuel efficiency, and the advancement of alternative fuels in the transportation sector including electric vehicles and natural gas trucks. In 2006, SAFE joined with General P.X. Kelley (Ret.), 28th Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, and Frederick W. Smith, Chairman, President, and CEO of FedEx Corporation, to form the Energy Security Leadership Council (ESLC), a group of business and former military leaders committed to reducing the United States’ dependence on oil.
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