Washington, D.C.— Following today’s OPEC meeting, at which the cartel reportedly agreed to cut supply by 1.2 million barrels per day, Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) President and CEO Robbie Diamond released the following statement:
“The uncertainty and behind-the-scenes wrangling that led up to this agreement among Saudi Arabia, other OPEC countries and their new ally Russia underscore the unfree and unfair market practices of this opaque cartel. These nations are cutting supply to drive up prices and undermine the interests of American consumers—actions that are illegal under U.S. law. This action was taken in response to the issuing of U.S. waivers on Iranian oil imports to avoid market volatility, serving as a timely reminder of the diverging policy goals of OPEC and the United States.”
“Our long-term economic and national security interests cannot continue to be held hostage by a cabal of oil producers who do not share America’s strategic interests or values. It is sad that American presidents need to ask for a cartel to collude in our favor instead of the free market working and America being able to make decisions on its own interest without the worry of OPEC or its member countries,” Diamond added.
The U.S. is the world’s largest oil-consuming country, requiring 20 percent of global supply to meet its daily demand. The transportation sector, which is 92 percent powered by petroleum, accounts for 70 percent of U.S. oil demand alone meaning that when oil prices spike, businesses and consumers have no alternatives available at scale. To counter OPEC’s influence, SAFE urges Congress to pass H.R. 5904 and S. 3214, the No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels Act (NOPEC). This would create a specific avenue for the Attorney General to pursue legal action against the cartel.
“It is time for the U.S. to counter OPEC’s malign effect on the American economy, and NOPEC would provide the federal government with an effective tool to do exactly that,” Diamond added.
To counter this vulnerability and insulate the U.S. economy from oil price shocks, SAFE advocates for a range of policies designed to reduce the country’s dependence and achieve oil dominance. These include maximizing domestic production, modernizing and strengthening fuel economy standards, adopting advanced transportation fuels including electricity and natural gas, and expeditiously deploying autonomous vehicles.
About Securing America’s Future Energy
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 transportation sector innovations including electric vehicles, natural gas trucks, and autonomous vehicles. 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. Today, the ESLC is co-chaired by Frederick W. Smith and General James T. Conway (Ret), 34th Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps.
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