Imagine making the world’s largest oil exporter sweat it out.
That’s exactly what Donald Trump is doing. The president-elect has said repeatedly that the U.S. needs to ban all oil imports from Saudi Arabia.
During his campaign Trump vowed to secure U.S. energy independence from “our foes and the oil cartels,” and predictably the Saudis, major donors to the Clinton campaign, aren’t happy with the way things are going.
On Wednesday Saudi oil minister Khalid Al-Falih warned Trump that banning Saudi oil could “seriously damage” the U.S. economy. “At his heart President-elect Trump will see the benefits and I think the oil industry will also be advising him accordingly that blocking trade in any product is not healthy,” Saudi Energy Minister and Aramco chairman Khalid Al-Falih told the Financial Times.
But the Saudi energy minister’s threats of serious damage to the American economy don’t add up. When it comes to oil production in 2016, the U.S. is right behind Saudi Arabia. There is simply no need for the U.S. to import oil and prop up a repressive regime that was exposed by WikiLeaks as providers of “financial and logistical support” for ISIS.
Major oil and gas discovery in Texas
On Tuesday, the USGS announced that an area known as the Wolfcamp shale contains 20 billion barrels of oil and 16 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. That is nearly three times more petroleum than the agency found in North Dakota’s Bakken shale in 2013.
As NPR’s Jeff Brady reported, the amount of oil in the Wolfcamp shale formation is nearly three times the amount of petroleum products used by the entire country in a year.
Trump’s plans for complete energy independence are achievable and will be a major boost to the U.S. economy. The only economy that will be “seriously damaged” belongs to the Saudis.