A U.S. Air Force RQ-1 Predator unmanned aerial vehicle from the 432nd Wing out of Creech Air Force Base, Nev., takes off from the Rafael Hernandez Airport outside Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, Jan. 28, 2010, for a mission in support of Operation Unified Response. Airmen from Creech Air Force Base are providing 24/7 full-motion video in real time to international relief workers on the ground in Haiti in order to speed up humanitarian aid in remote areas of the country. The Department of Defense and the U.S. Agency for International Development are providing aid and relief to Haitian citizens affected by the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that struck the region Jan. 12, 2010. (DoD photo by Tech. Sgt. James L. Harper Jr., U.S. Air Force/Released)
Following an attack on a Saudi oil refinery, but what is suspected to be Iran, President Trump has authorized the use of the emergency oil reserves if needed.
According to The Hill:
President Trump on Sunday announced he had authorized the use of the U.S.’s emergency oil reserve in response to a series of drone attacks in Saudi Arabia that have disrupted the Gulf country’s crude output.
“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-supplied,” Trump said in a series 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.”
Established in the 1970s in response to the Arab oil embargo, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is the world’s largest crude oil stash. Located along parts of the U.S. Gulf Coast, it has been used a handful of times times since its conception: during the first Gulf War in 1991, after Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005 and following supply chain disruptions in Libya in 2011.
Trump’s decision, which had been signaled earlier this weekend by Energy Secretary Rick Perry, comes after a series of drone attacks on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia cut off around 5 percent of the country’s crude output, sparking fears that they will impact oil prices around the globe.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has blamed Iran while Iranian linked Houthi rebels have claimed responsibility for the attack.