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Walden Talks Energy with Kevin Cirilli on “Sound On”


04.27.20

WASHINGTON, DC –Energy and Commerce Republican Leader Greg Walden (R-OR) joined “Sound On” hosted by Kevin Cirilli, Bloomberg’s Chief Washington Correspondent, for a deep dive on energy.

Click HERE to listen to the podcast.

LISTEN: Walden on how to help stabilize oil and gas market, phone call with Secretary Brouillette (starting at 1:58)

“…–[The] energy sector is a really important part of America’s economic renaissance…you’ve seen what’s happened all across the country. As we became not only energy independent, but all the jobs and economy that went with that, we had a remarkable, positive effect in so many sectors of our nation. We know that our competitors would love to see that go down into decline – the Saudis, the Russians, the others, and we can’t let that happen. Then you have the whole COVID thing come in on top of it. So, what we’re looking at is…how do you provide a safety net for this incredible job-producing part, high-wage job producing part of our economy? Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette [is] terrific. He’s very thoughtful; he’s smart. He used to be the chief counsel, the staff director on the Energy and Commerce Committee. I mean, he knows how Congress works. He knows the energy sector well, and so he’s already contracted for leasing space for 23 million barrels of oil. They’re putting out an RFP next week for an additional 27 million barrels of oil. Congress long ago gave them the authority….to go do this. And so, we can do storage for long-term, we can help. As you know, part of this issue driving price down is there’s literally very little storage left anywhere in the world. So Congress authorized the Department of Energy to store up to a billion barrels of oil, and it’s not limited in where they store that oil, so he’s offering to work with Congress, with our neighbors to the north and south. We need to have a North American energy plan here and become very independent and very competitive in this environment and not let…OPEC and others try and just destroy our infrastructure, which is part of what’s going on here in addition to the clear drop-off in demand and everything related with COVID…”

LISTEN: Walden on a North American energy plan (starting at 4:05)

“Well I’ve talked to the Premier of Alberta. I’ve talked to others and he’s [Secretary Brouillette] working with him and they’re working this thing out. I mean clearly, we have a lot of energy production that crosses back and forth over our borders as it is. You think about the pipelines back and forth. You think about different production, different types of oil and so there’s a lot of commonality here of where we can work together. And try to deal when we get things back into a little more balance and partnership.”

LISTEN: Walden on the Saudi Arabia’s actions with oil, should Saudi Arabia face consequences (starting at 5:32)

“…It’s a really good question. And I know the president has spoken directly with the Saudi leader. And you know has leaned in pretty hard. Look, I think out of this whole COVID crisis we have really begun to see who our friends are and who they’re not. Where our supply chains are weak; where they are vulnerable; where they are not. And I think you see in time and need. The House of Saud has not been there like they could have been. They could have let up on this a long time ago, but they doubled down. Part of it is their competition with Russia, but combined they have the side benefit of trying to knock us off the block. It’s a competitive world and oil is a competitively priced product, but they’ve done damage here….They’ve lost some friends in the Congress that have supported this relationship, and I think it was pretty short-sighted on their part.”

LISTEN: Walden continues on the Saudis’ recent actions with oil, U.S.-Saudi Arabia relationship (starting at 6:53)

“Yeah you know, and even within the Saudis, there’s part of the family that supports the madrassas but then pose a threat to the government. I mean it’s a very complicated part of the world, as you know, to begin with…they do play an important role at times in a pretty complicated and difficult neighborhood. But you know at some point we got to put America first here. And I know the president believes that. And you know he’s laid down the law a bit. So you know we’ll get through this. But a lot of what we’re facing right now is global, and it’s COVID, and it’s enormous unprecedented drops in demand.”

LISTEN: Walden answers Cirilli’s question on his “message to refinery workers who really just want to get back to work” (starting at 8:14)

“…We need to help them. It needs to be bipartisan…..They’re too important [a] part of America’s economy.”


Subcommittees
Energy (116th Congress)

Issues
COVID-19
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