Washington, D.C.—In response to reports that the Trump administration is considering the possibility of Saudi Arabia quitting OPEC to manipulate the oil market alongside the United States, Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) President and CEO Robbie Diamond made the following statement:
“This measure is a betrayal of America’s commitment to free markets, and is a road down which the United States absolutely should not travel. Engaging in market manipulation with Saudi Arabia will not only void any authority the United States has in enforcing global antitrust norms, but also give OPEC and petrostates like Russia license to act as they please.”
“Taking this option rejects American free-market values in favor of short-term opportunism. While this may seem an appealing fix for today’s oil market problems, the long-term cost to America’s global leadership is far too much to bear,” Diamond added.
Rather than join Saudi Arabia in manipulating the global oil market, the United States should instead make a strong statement that efforts to collude on oil production will not be tolerated and look beyond the current situation for a comprehensive solution which would include the diversification of our transportation sector on a variety of domestic fuels like electricity, hydrogen and natural gas.
Alongside reducing U.S. dependence on oil, swift passage of the No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels Act (NOPEC), which would empower the executive branch to launch such legal suits against OPEC if it sees fit, will act as a deterrent to future market manipulation and demonstrate the country remains committed to free markets. Before becoming President, Donald Trump called for NOPEC’s enactment in his 2011 book “Time to Get Tough.”
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.