The recent drone attack on the Saudi Arabian oil processing plant raises lots of questions that our leaders will need to answer quickly. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared that it was an “act of war” by Iran. But confirming the link and deciding how to respond are just a few of the questions that need to be answered.
The drone attack temporarily cut off an estimated five percent of the world’s oil supply. President Trump authorized the release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, if needed. It may not be needed since the US is much closer to energy independence than it was in the past.
Those of us who are older remember the oil shocks of the past. One of my co-hosts who was born in the 1980s only read about what it was like in the 1970s with the oil embargo and gas lines that sometimes spread for a mile. A few economists and government officials estimated that the US (and a few others) could absorb the loss of Saudi oil production. How different it is today compared to a few decades ago.
The drone attack on the oil plant also illustrated what could happen in this country to our energy grid or oil production facilities. The president did issue an executive order last March requiring federal agencies to assess and fix vulnerabilities of our electric grid. It might collapse by design (through a foreign adversary like Iran) or by accident (through naturally occurring phenomenon).
Frank Gaffney (Center for Security Policy) laments that some bureaucrats in the Deep State don’t seem very serious about studying and fixing the vulnerabilities of the US energy grid. One bureaucrat in Homeland Security argued the risk of electromagnetic pulses taking down the electric grid is “overestimated.”
Frank Gaffney has a ready response: “Want to bet? Think Saudi Arabia.” The drone attack should be a wake-up call to get moving on protecting our energy grid.