Casten, Durbin join call for U.S. to break ties with Saudi Arabia over oil production cuts – Crain’s Chicago Business

Rep. Sean Casten joins Durbin, others in calling for end to alliance with Saudi Arabia

sean casten
Photo: Bloomberg


In the wake of last week’s decision by OPEC+ to slash oil production by 2 million barrels per day, many U.S. lawmakers have lashed out at Saudi Arabia, seen as the leader of the group. Criticism of the decision claims production cuts will lead to higher oil prices, benefiting the OPEC+ countries, including Russia which is still embroiled in war after its invasion of Ukraine earlier this year.

The decision angered the Biden administration and led to calls for the U.S. to cut ties with Saudi Arabia, including from two Illinois elected officials. 

Last week, three House Democrats — New Jersey’s Tom Malinowski, Pennsylvania’s Susan Wild and Illinois’ Sean Casten — said they planned to introduce a bill to remove all US troops and missile defense systems from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, another OPEC+ member that supported the production cuts.

Additionally, U.S. Sen. Durbin called on the U.S. to end its partnership with Saudi Arabia, tweeting, “It’s time for our foreign policy to imagine a world without their alliance.” He echoed the call on Tuesday in a CNN interview, saying, “OPEC+, which means Russia and Saudi Arabia, have decided they are going to have a joint effort to come to the rescue of Russia in Ukraine at the expense of the United States and NATO allies.”

Don’t look for any sudden action from the Biden White House, though, despite the declarations of anger. Officials conceded that a legislative plan to retaliate was unlikely to materialize until after November’s midterm elections, underscoring the complex calculations the U.S. faces as it weighs a longtime partnership that has quickly soured.

Bloomberg contributed to this report.

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October 12, 2022 at 07:00AM

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