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US lawmaker rebukes S Arabia as Congress targets Riyadh over oil cut

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) (R) and US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) arrive for an event to celebrate the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC, on September 13, 2022. (File photo by AFP)

US Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer has rebuked Saudi Arabia as Congress prepares to punish Riyadh for lowering oil production.

The senior Democratic senator from New York threatened Saudi Arabia, saying Riyadh will pay the price for what he called its “deeply cynical action” of supporting a 2 million-barrel cut in oil supplies, which will put more pressure on the American economy.  

Saudi Arabia and other members of OPEC-PLUS, which groups up the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producers including Russia, announced this week it would cut oil production to prop up falling prices.

“What Saudi Arabia did to help Putin continue to wage his despicable, vicious war against Ukraine will long be remembered by Americans. We are looking at all the legislative tools to best deal with this appalling and deeply cynical action, including the NOPEC bill,” Schumer tweeted on Friday.

What Saudi Arabia did to help Putin continue to wage his despicable, vicious war against Ukraine will long be remembered by Americans. We are looking at all the legislative tools to best deal with this appalling and deeply cynical action, including the NOPEC bill.

— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) October 6, 2022

The No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels Act of 2021, or the NOPEC bill prohibits a foreign state from engaging in collective action impacting the market.

The NOPEC bill allows the US Attorney General to sue companies such as Saudi Aramco in federal court.  

In a related move, a group of lawmakers have introduced a new bill that aims to end the US' military support to Saudi Arabia.

House Representatives Tom Malinowski, Sean Casten and Susan Wild launched the motion on Wednesday.

“We see no reason why American troops and contractors should continue to provide this service to countries that are actively working against us,” they said.

US President Joe Biden traveled to "pariah" Saudi Arabia in July to talk to the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in person to make sure Riyadh would continue to produce surplus oil to help the US economy out of dire straits.

Biden described the OPEC-PLUS' latest reductions as “a disappointment”.


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