President Donald Trump continued to attack the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) on Twitter, demanding Thursday morning that the cartel stop raising oil prices.
We protect the countries of the Middle East, they would not be safe for very long without us, and yet they continue to push for higher and higher oil prices! We will remember. The OPEC monopoly must get prices down now!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 20, 2018
The president’s warning comes before OPEC and Russia — which is not an official member — are due to meet Sunday in Algeria. The international oil cartel will decide if they need to boost production amid rising prices and renewed U.S. sanctions on Iran.
Prices have been gaining in recent months, something Trump does not want to see in the run-up to the midterm elections. The price of oil is reaching highs not seen since the early days of summer. The price of oil was trading at over $79 a barrel Thursday morning. (RELATED: US Surpasses Saudi Arabia As The World’s Top Oil Producer)
Trump’s implicit warning of no longer protecting Middle Eastern countries will certainly loom large during the OPEC meetings. It’s not immediately clear what actions will be taken should they not opt to increase production.
This is far from the first time the president has complained on social media about OPEC’s artificial increases in the price of oil.
Oil prices are too high, OPEC is at it again. Not good!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 13, 2018
Looks like OPEC is at it again. With record amounts of Oil all over the place, including the fully loaded ships at sea, Oil prices are artificially Very High! No good and will not be accepted!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 20, 2018
Energy development has become a major priority for the Trump administration. In addition to rolling back a slew of Obama-era environmental regulations that have held back the oil and gas industry, the president has actively sought to increase domestic output. Trump has also met with several European leaders in the past year in an effort to boost U.S. natural gas sales to the continent.
The president’s agenda appears to be working. For the first time in two decades, the U.S. surpassed Saudi Arabia in crude oil production, becoming the biggest producer in the world.
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