U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, released the following statement after the members of OPEC+ reached an on-paper agreement to reduce their oil production by two million barrels per day starting in November 2022. The agreement, led by Saudi Arabia and Russia, threatens to harm the global economy and highlights the utter folly of production restrictions in the United States—particularly those imposed by the Biden administration.
“The members of OPEC+ clearly have little regard for the consequences of their actions. While higher oil prices may be good for their coffers for a time, they will harm families and businesses around the world. Even if this agreement is predicated on a global recession, their actions today will only contribute to it.
“While I will never object to lower production from OPEC+, it is deeply regrettable that the U.S. is essentially caught flat-footed by this agreement. The Biden administration has had more than a year and a half to prepare for this turn of events, including more than seven months since the start of Russia’s catastrophic war against Ukraine, but failed to do so.
“Instead of approving key projects and reforming the broken processes that hold them back, the administration has sold unprecedented volumes from our emergency oil reserves. They have claimed that domestic companies are engaged in price gouging. They have imposed regulations that work against domestic supply and threatened counterproductive bans on our energy exports.
“Most absurd, news reports indicate that senior administration officials spent recent weeks pushing OPEC+ to drop its supply cuts, calling it a ‘total disaster’ and ‘hostile act’ – despite having the exact same policy for production from the federal areas under their control.
“OPEC+’s latest agreement highlights what many of us have known for a long time: there is no substitute or equal for U.S. oil production. If there was ever a time for the Biden administration to reverse course and work with our energy producers, instead of against them, it is right now. I call on the administration to do that, immediately, so that Alaska, in particular, can help rebuild our nation’s energy security and lower prices at the pump for all Americans.”