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During a White House press conference on Wednesday, National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications John Kirby was grilled on why it’s a national security interest to ask Saudi Arabia to drill more oil, rather than letting oil companies drill more in the US.
“How is it that you guys have determined that it’s in the US national security interest to ask Saudi Arabia to drill more oil, instead of just letting oil companies drill more here in the US?” Peter Doocy of Fox News asked.
Kirby claimed that US officials “never said” that it was “a national security interest” to get Saudi Arabia to pump more oil, noting that the US has more than 9000 unused drilling permits in the US.
Doocy continued on to ask that as a national strategic issue, “how much lower can we let the strategic petroleum reserves get before that becomes a problem?”
“The President did tap into the strategic oil reserves to try to relieve some of the pressure at the pump, and he’ll use a range of tools available to him going forward,” Kirby told Doocy.
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