Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), who expressed outrage after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, a Saudi-led international oil cartel, announced Wednesday that it would be slashing its largest oil production cut since 2020, called for the U.S. end to military aid to Saudi Arabia.
Sanders said that OPEC’s motivation is clear: to raise gas prices at a time when the oil and gas industry is already Record profitsDue to high gas prices Market manipulation.
“OPEC’s decision to cutback on production is a blatant attempt to increase gas prices at the pump that cannot stand,” Sanders wrote. “We must end OPEC’s illegal price-fixing cartel, eliminate military assistance to Saudi Arabia, and move aggressively to renewable energy.”
Other Democratic lawmakers also called for an end of military assistance to Saudi Arabia. a groupAs a result, Democrats are introducing legislation to order the withdrawal from Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates troops. Progressives have advocated this in the past. for endingMilitary support dangerous petrostate Saudi Arabia over the country’s devastating war on Yemen.
Sen. Ed Markey (D-Massachusetts) echoed Sanders in agreeing that OPEC’s move is yet another reason for the U.S. to transition to renewable energy and lessen its dependence on fossil fuels. He announced that he is reintroducing legislation to initiate talks with OPEC and non-OPEC allies, known together as OPEC+, in order to “hold OPEC and its allies accountable for colluding to hike energy prices on working families.”
Climate activists are concerned that OPEC has such unchecked power over global economies, as they have done. on the brink of a recession, while also maintaining fossil fuel’s controlling grip over the energy market.
“Right now we are witnessing how our near-total reliance on fossil fuels has allowed the world to be so easily manipulated by a handful of dangerous and greedy leaders,” Stop The Oil Profiteering spokesperson Cassidy DiPaola told Truthout. “OPEC has some of the worst human rights and environmental records in the world, and it comes as no surprise that they are using their power to fix prices and fleece consumers.”
Though reducing oil production is an ultimate goal of the climate movement, as long as OPEC’s move doesn’t come with a corresponding increase in renewable energies, it only serves to further entrench the fossil fuel industry by pumping its profits, advocates say. Climate advocates have been calling for a managed decline of the oil industry — including reducing production while drastically boosting energy efficiency and renewable energies — rather than simply squeezing the supply of the energy market, as OPEC is doing.
“We cannot allow our energy to be controlled by a cartel of oil producing states,” DiPaola continued. “It is time for a swift and just transition to renewable energy that will provide the world with the energy freedom we need and deserve.”
Democrats reacted with frustrationOn Wednesday, OPEC announced that it would soon reduce production by 2,000,000 barrels a dayThis will likely cause oil prices skyrocket. As the global economy is in a recession, oil barrel prices have been steadily falling over the past few months. corresponding declineGas prices at the pump
President Joe Biden’s approval rating — an important harbinger of how well Democrats will fare in this year’s midterm elections — has been trending stronglyGas prices have risen over the course of his presidency. This announcement may reverse that trend. the current trendIncreasing approval for the president
The Biden administration was considering a gas export banThe midterms will be held in the hope of helping to push gas prices down further, a move that environmental and climate groups called for in response the OPEC announcement.
“It is no surprise that the international oil cartel is seeking to maintain high prices. The solution is not to increase drilling, must be understood by political leaders at home. Corporations are exporting record quantities of gasoline, and making record-setting profits as a result,” Food and Water Watch policy director Mitch Jones said in a statementWednesday. “It’s time to take real action to rein in this outrageous corporate profiteering. That should start with Congress passing a ban on gasoline exports.”
Oil trade groups such as the American Petroleum Institute have voiced opposition to the move — likely because it could cut into their ability to price gouge, as lawmakers and climate advocates have Oil companies have been accusedDoing. Indeed, experts say that the practice of exporting oil has massively increased the U.S.’s reliance on foreign energy sources and gives fossil fuel companies the opportunityExports can be used to decrease domestic supply and increase prices to consumers.