Senator John Hoeven kinda, sorta did that this last weekend when he delivered the GOP’s weekly address (watch it above). In it he pointed out that the Iran deal is hurting America’s energy industry.
“As a consequence of President Obama’s nuclear agreement with Iran, this state sponsor of terrorism will now be able to increase its oil exports at a moment when our moderate Sunni allies, and their partners, feel increasingly threatened by Iranian belligerents,” Hoeven said in the video. “As a result, Saudi Arabia has opened the spigot to maintain its own level of exports.”
This is “actually working to undermine our energy industry,” Hoeven added.
Hoeven went on to point out that hurting America’s oil industry strengthens some of our enemies on the international stage. “A huge part of Vladimir Putin’s power base on the world stage is the fact that so much of Europe depends on oil and gas from Russia,” Hoeven said. “And [ISIS] is relying on oil and gas dollars to fund its brutal terrorist activities in the Middle East and beyond.”
America can now export unrefined crude oil to international markets (no thanks to President Obama or Democrats), and that helps, but the Iran deal puts American energy companies in direct competition with an oil-rich rogue state with a lengthy history of sponsoring terrorism.
From a purely free market perspective all countries should be at liberty to sell their goods and services on the global markets. But from a foreign policy perspective, allowing Iran to sell oil makes little sense.
Here in North Dakota, where low oil prices are putting a pinch on our state’s economy, the Iran deal hurts. Palpably.
Hoeven doesn’t make mention of Heitkamp specifically in the video – he was speaking on behalf of his national party, not North Dakota Republicans – but North Dakota Republicans should work to tie Heitkamp to these policies.
Republicans give Heitkamp far too much room to brand herself as a sort of pragmatic centrist who will govern like a Republican on the issues most important to North Dakotans. They need to point out that, when the chips are down and the Democrats and/or President Obama need her vote, she’s as loyal a partisan politician as you can find. Even when her vote runs contrary to her state’s interests.