Your Royal Highness:
The United States and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have an important strategic partnership that ensures regional stability, counters Iran’s malign activity, and defeats terrorists that threaten our security. The United States also remains committed to maintaining the strong economic ties between our two countries. We are concerned, however, with the Kingdom’s actions to artificially distort global crude oil markets as countries around the world struggle to address a growing economic and health crisis fueled by the COVID-19 novel coronavirus pandemic.
As recently as January, the Kingdom claimed that it would do all it could to ensure stability in the global oil market. But as a result of the Kingdom’s March decision to artificially depress global crude prices, thousands of American workers employed directly by our country’s oil and gas producers, as well as thousands more employed in related industries, face increased financial and economic uncertainty. While other global actors use oil and gas markets as political leverage, the Kingdom must be a model of leadership at a time when a global pandemic drives down demand resulting in significant market volatility. In the United States, the oil and natural gas industry is based on free market principles that resist anticompetitive conduct or government manipulation of markets. The Kingdom, however, can change course, reduce production, and restore balance to a market that has seen the most drastic price drop in years.
Failure to address this energy crisis will jeopardize the joint efforts between our nations to collaborate economically and militarily. The U.S. military presence in the Middle East region has maintained the stability that provides for the economic prosperity and ensures the security of our two nations. As Members of Congress, we have rejected efforts to undermine or undo this partnership. But if the Kingdom fails to act fairly to reverse this manufactured energy crisis, we would encourage any reciprocal responses that the U.S. government deems appropriate.
H.R.H. Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud
Our countries share decades of deep cooperation and leadership combating and defeating existential threats. It is our hope that those characteristics that have defined our strong strategic partnership for years will continue to serve as the bedrock through this current crisis. We hope that as a global energy leader, and Chair of the G20 for 2020, the Kingdom will fulfill its promise and take immediate action to do its part to bring stability – not further volatility – to global crude oil markets.
Signed by 48 members of Congress
Steve Scalise, Michael Conaway, Jeff Duncan, Chip Roys, Markwayne Mullin, Kelly Armstrong, Austin Scott, Clay Higgins, Bill Johnson Fred Keller, Randy K. Weber Roger Williams, H. Morgan Griffith, Debbie Lesko, Greg Pence, Earl L. “Buddy” Carter, Jodey C. Arrington, Kevin Brady, William R. Timmons, IV, Kevin Hern,
Jody Hice, Michael Cloud, Dan Newhouse, Mike Rogers, Bruce Westerman, Pete Olson, Carol D. Miller, Scott Tipton, Pete Stauber, Brian Babin, D.D.S., Rick W. Allen, Dan Crenshaw, Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S., Troy Balderson, David Rouzer, French Hill, Louie Gohmert, Larry Buschon, M.D., Bill Flores, Guy Reschenthaler,
Garret Graves, Steve Watkins, Don Young, Russ Fulcher, Richard Hudson, Ron Estes, Jim Hagedorn, Tom Emmer
Copy to: Her Royal Highness Princess Reema bint Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the U.S.
The Honorable John P. Abizaid, U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
The Honorable Michael Pompeo, U.S. Secretary of State
The Honorable Dan Brouillette, U.S. Secretary of Energy
The Honorable Robert C. O’Brien, U.S. National Security Advisor
The Honorable Larry Kudlow, Director of the U.S. National Economic Council