U.S. confronts latest Gulf crisis as ‘global energy superpower’

by WorldTribune Staff, September 16, 2019

If a major attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil infrastructure had occurred in earlier administrations, the United States would likely be in panic mode in relation to its own energy needs.

But the U.S. today faces a greatly reduced risk of an oil shortage due to the aggressive development of its own resources, analysts said.

NASA deep space photo of smoke plumes billowing from the site of the attack on Saudi Aramco. / Public Domain

“The United States has emerged as a global energy superpower no longer dependent on foreign oil,” said John McNabb, co-chair of the Council for a Secure America (CSA). “The technological breakthroughs that made this possible enhance our national security and that of Israel, our most important strategic ally in the region.”

McNabb serves on the boards of two public companies, Continental Resources located in Oklahoma City and Cypress Energy Partners in Tulsa and the Board of Advisors of Free Press Foundation.

President Donald Trump tweeted on Sept. 16: “Because we have done so well with Energy over the last few years (thank you, Mr. President!), we are a net Energy Exporter, & now the Number One Energy Producer in the World. We don’t need Middle Eastern Oil & Gas, & in fact have very few tankers there, but will help our Allies!”

Dan Yergin, the vice chairman of the IHS Markit analytics consultancy, told CNBC: “If we had been where we were 10 years ago, this would have been a much more panicky situation. Still, of course, it’s the biggest hit, the biggest disruption to world oil supplies that’s ever occurred.”

The weekend attacks on Saudi Aramco facilities, which halved the kingdom’s oil production and sent crude prices spiking, led Trump to authorize the release of U.S. strategic reserves should they be necessary to stabilize markets.

“I think Iran has made a terrible mistake,” McNabb said. “Iran has created a volatile situation in the Middle East by funding terrorist proxies with no supervision. They are losing all their friends in the region.”

U.S. officials say intelligence indicates that the attacks on Saudi’s oil facilities originated from Iran, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sept. 16. The U.S. has shared the information with Saudi Arabia.

The CSA Internet site says it is an organization “dedicated to promoting United States energy independence, its impact on United States foreign policy, and the strategic relationship between the United States and Israel.” In a statement issued on Sept. 16, it said:

“Prior to the American technological innovations that revolutionized America’s energy production, U.S. foreign policy decisions were constrained by America’s dependence on foreign oil.

Iran – the source of much of the instability in the Middle East through its terrorist proxies, in Yemen, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon – is committed to the destruction of the State of Israel, America’s closest ally in the Middle East. In addition, Iran is directly hijacking oil tankers sailing through the Straits of Hormuz, seeking to cause as much disruption and destruction as possible. Meanwhile, American sanctions are working and the Iranian economy is crashing. Iran’s inflation is skyrocketing and Iranian oil exports are down by 90 percent. Iran is continuing its terrorist activities with the intent of forcing America to eliminate the sanctions.”

President Trump warned on Sept. 15 that the U.S. was “locked and loaded,” and prepared to strike when America and Saudi Arabia identified who was responsible.

Saudi and American officials said the Sept. 14 attack on two sites in Saudi Arabia used cruise missiles that hit 19 targets.

The U.S. has dismissed a claim by Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen who claim they sent 10 drones to attack the Saudi oil sites.

According to the Wall Street Journal’s report, Trump and his team, which included Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and acting national security adviser Charles Kupperman, “discussed contingency plans for responding to the attacks.”

Trump tweeted on Sept. 16: “Remember when Iran shot down a drone, saying knowingly that it was in their ‘airspace’ when, in fact, it was nowhere close,” he said. “They stuck strongly to that story knowing that it was a very big lie. Now they say they had nothing to do with the attack on Saudi Arabia. We’ll see?”

The Trump administration also told the Iraqi government that Iraq wasn’t used to launch the attacks, according to U.S. and Iraqi officials.

Earlier Trump said that the necessary agencies have been advised to speed up the approval process for oil pipelines in Texas and “various other States.”

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