The U.S. is open to stabilizing the global energy supply by tapping its emergency petroleum reserve, President Trump tweeted Sunday.
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“Based on the attack on Saudi Arabia, which may have an impact on oil prices, I have authorized the release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, if needed, in a to-be determined amount sufficient to keep the markets well supplies,” Trump wrote in a pair of tweets. “I have also informed all appropriate agencies to expedite approvals of the oil pipelines currently in the permitting process in Texas and various other states.”
White House counselor Kellyanne Conway made similar comments earlier on “Fox News Sunday.”
Saudi Arabia is shutting down about half of its oil output after apparently coordinated drone strikes on the kingdom’s production facilities, an attack that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed on Iran.
“Secretary Pompeo has made clear that the Iranian regime is responsible for this attack on civilian areas and infrastructure vital to our global energy supply, and we are not going to stand for that,” Conway told Fox News’ Bill Hemmer. “Our Department of Energy stands ready to tap into the Strategic Reserve, petroleum reserve if we must to stabilize the global energy supply.”
Trump didn't name Iran in his tweets, but said officials "know the culprit" and were "locked and loaded" waiting for Saudi leaders to confirm the identity of the attackers.
The Strategic Petroleum Reserve is authorized to store 713.5 million barrels of oil in underground salt caverns in Louisiana and Texas. The president may authorize crude oil withdrawals in cases of emergency. Most recently, President Barack Obama authorized the sale of 30 million barrels during the Libyan civil war in 2011.
Conway also said the U.S. energy boom has made the country less reliant on malign countries.
“This president also, through his energy policy, Bill, has made us less dependent on these foreign dictators and regimes for our energy supply,” Conway said.