Deploying More Troops In Saudi Arabia Emphasizes National Security Need To Reduce U.S. Oil Dependence

Washington, D.C.—Reports that thousands of additional U.S. troops are to be sent to Saudi Arabia, in response to the September 14 attacks on Saudi Aramco’s Abqaiq oil processing facility, are an urgent reminder for the United States to reduce its overwhelming reliance on oil.

The news comes after reports that an Iranian oil tanker was attacked today in the Red Sea off the coast of Saudi Arabia, striking two of the vessel’s tanks.

“It is clear that heightened Mideast geopolitical risk is becoming the new normal in oil markets, and America’s extreme oil dependence requires us to place troops at the center of it,” said Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) President and CEO, Robbie Diamond. “This latest troop movement proves to policymakers that the U.S. shale production boom has not made us self-sufficient, nor has it walled us off from global oil market volatility.”

The United States is the world’s largest oil consumer, accounting for one-fifth of daily global supply, 70 percent of which is used to power a transportation system that is 92 percent dependent on petroleum fuels. Oil is a globally-priced commodity; a disruption in supply anywhere affects prices everywhere, regardless of how much the United States produces. Oil’s dominance of the U.S. transportation system means American businesses and consumers suffer when prices spike, and our reliance on oil reorders our foreign policy priorities.

“Yet again, this demonstrates the need for the United States to reduce its overwhelming oil dependence as a national security priority. The only way we can achieve this it greater fuel diversity in our transportation sector—and electrification in particular.”

SAFE advocates for long-term, demand-side solutions that reduce our dependence on oil. These policies include optimizing and modernizing our fuel economy standards to extract as much economic value from every barrel of oil we do use, and advocating for greater fuel choice for consumers. Electric vehicles, in particular, run on a fuel source that is both diverse and domestic in source, as well as low and stable in price.

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.