Oil dispute compels Kathy Castor to support removing U.S. troops from Saudi Arabia and UAE

'We’ve got to support the countries in the world that believe in democracy and human rights, and Saudi Arabia is not it.'

Tampa Democratic U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor says she supports a bill to pull all U.S. troops out of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in retaliation for the decision announced last week by the OPEC + consortium to sharply cut oil production, which is predicted to increase gas prices in the U.S.

“The Saudis have proven over and over that they’re not in the mainstream of nations when it comes to human rights. They murdered a reporter, and we don’t need their oil anymore,” Castor told the Phoenix on Friday, specifically referring to the assassination of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the de facto leader of Saudi Arabia, approved the murder of Khashoggi, according to a U.S. intelligence report that was declassified and released to the public last year.

President Joe Biden criticized the Saudi government during his campaign for President in 2020, warning the kingdom would “pay the price” for human rights abuses. Yet he ended up meeting up with the crown prince this Summer, when he said he was doing “all I can to increase the supply for the United States of America, which I expect to happen.”

The announcement by the Saudis last week has angered Democrats, with inflation and high gas prices one of the top issues listed by voters going into the Midterm Elections next month.

“We’re moving to clean energy in this country,” said Castor, who chairs the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis. “We’ve got to support the countries in the world that believe in democracy and human rights, and Saudi Arabia is not it.”

The average price for a gallon of unleaded gas in the U.S. is $3.92. In Florida, it’s at $3.33 a gallon. That’s down from a high of $4.89 recorded on June 13, but up 11 cents from a week ago, according to AAA. Patrick De Haan, an analyst with GasBuddy, predicted last week that the move by OPEC + will raise gas prices between 15 and 30 cents.

‘Hostile act’

The proposal in the U.S. House is being sponsored by New Jersey’s Tom Malinowski, Illinois’ Sean Casten, and Pennsylvania’s Susan Wild, all Democrats. In a statement, the three members said that Saudi Arabia and the UAE’s support for the decision by OPEC to cut oil production by 2 million barrels per day “is a hostile act against the United States that they have chosen to side with Russia in its war against Ukraine.”

The bill is similar to a 2020 proposal introduced by Louisiana GOP U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy that called for withdrawing all members of the U.S. Armed Forces within 30 days of passage. He proposed that after OPEC + announced that they would slash oil production by approximately 15 million barrels, or 15 percent of global production.

The U.S. has about 3,000 troops in Saudi Arabia and 2,000 in the UAE, according to military.com.

Castor is running for re-election next month against Republican James Judge in Florida’s 14th Congressional District. A military veteran, Judge told the Phoenix Monday that he would need to look at the bill and consult with experts before making a decision about supporting it.

‘PR stunt’

“At first thought, the geopolitical implications could be worse off and create further instability in the Middle East, which could cause fuel prices to skyrocket even more,” Judge said in a written statement.

“I think this is more likely a PR stunt by the Democrats, who are worried about losing the midterms, as they should be, because they are the ones to blame for the high fuel prices, the absurd inflation we’re facing, along with skyrocketing violent crime rates. More importantly, we need to stop printing money and look at ways to reduce federal spending and start repaying our federal debt. ”

Congressional District 14’s boundaries were moved during the redistricting process that resulted in a new congressional map approved by the Florida Legislature earlier this year, and now adds a part of eastern Pinellas County to what had previously been a Hillsborough County seat.


Mitch Perry reporting via Florida Phoenix.

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  • Ocean Joe

    October 12, 2022 at 6:22 am

    Focus is wrong. Oil workers have joined women in Iran to protest the Ayatollah’s repressive govt. If the movement grows, at some point the military will refuse to slaughter civilians, the government falls and the religious crazies go back into their holes.

    Iran is the middle eastern natural powerhouse. Encourage and support the change, then let Saudi Arabia go. It cannot defend itself, even with sophisticated weapons, its’ people perpetrated 9-11, its’ monarch engineered the murder of the reporter, it is flailing in a war with a smaller neighbor, which it started, and now it has hopped in bed with Russia, whose barbaric invasion of Ukraine is indefensible by all except Mr. Trump.

    We shouldn’t forget who led OPEC’s attack on the world economy in 1974 resulting in not just gas lines, but inflation that ran up over 14%.
    It’s not quite payback time. A free Iran would leave Saudi Arabia dispensable. Work on that first.

  • Impeach Biden

    October 12, 2022 at 7:34 am

    We were energy independent before the three stooges Biden, Harris, and Granholm took over. Just saying.

    • Tom

      October 12, 2022 at 8:15 am

      False information ..far right propaganda.

  • Earl Pitts American

    October 12, 2022 at 8:56 am

    Good Morning America,
    Castor and all leftists on the planet are extremly furious with that 30 something year old Saudi Prince. And guess what.. its not about killing that “journalist dude” either.
    See it’s like this: in the eyes of the left the Saudi Prince which the left all disrespected over that journalist dude was supposed to help the incompident bumbeling Biden administration thru the midterms by turning up oil production to keep the price of gas down until after the midterms.
    Well the Prince cant do that BUT it’s NOT because the left whizzed him off over that journalist dude thing. The Prince dont care at all about the left’s predictable fake outrage over that journalist dude. And Castor along with everyone on the left knows the Prince does not give a rat’s rear end about their fake outrage.

    The real reason the Prince told Biden to pound sand in regards to the “turn up the oil pumps” request is that it is not in Saudi Arabia’s best interest for the left to win the midterms.
    The left is empowering Iran, China, and Russia to kick off the Armageddon styled takeover of the middle east which means the distruction of Saudi Arabia for the Prince and his people.
    THAT America is why the left is upset with the Prince. He was not supposed to be smart enough to figgure out that helping Biden keep gas prices down for the midterms would equal the total distruction of Saudi Arabia and light the fuze for Armageddon.
    Thank You Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
    Thank You America
    Earl Pitts American

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