The Biden administration called Wednesday on the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to boost oil production in order to combat rising gasoline prices.
“Higher gasoline costs, if left unchecked, risk harming the ongoing global recovery,” said a statement from national security adviser Jake Sullivan. “The price of crude oil has been higher than it was at the end of 2019, before the onset of the pandemic.”
“While OPEC+ recently agreed to production increases, these increases will not fully offset previous production cuts that OPEC+ imposed during the pandemic until well into 2022. At a critical moment in the global recovery, this is simply not enough,” the statement continued.
— Javier Blas (@JavierBlas) August 11, 2021
“We are engaging with relevant OPEC+ members on the importance of competitive markets in setting prices. Competitive energy markets will ensure reliable and stable energy supplies, and OPEC+ must do more to support the recovery,” Sullivan concluded.
OPEC+ is an international conglomerate of major oil producers that includes the 13 OPEC countries, mostly led by Saudi Arabia, as well as 10 other countries, led by Russia, that formed a deal in 2016 with the goal of having more control on the global crude oil market.
Despite oil prices experiencing a high level of volatility lately due to the delta variant, Brent crude, the international oil benchmark, fell 0.8% to $70.04 a barrel shortly after the White House’s announcement.
Republicans, however, were quick to criticize the Biden administration for asking foreign oil producers to increase their output given their domestic policies that have targeted the American energy industry. (RELATED: Republican States Ask Court To Order Biden Admin To Resume Drilling Leases)
Reaching a whole new level of stupid, the Biden administration asks OPEC (foreign oil) to increase production, while making every possible attempt to destroy CLEANER American oil and gas.
Not just stupid, but anti-American. https://t.co/aqMvp7ogX2
— Dan Crenshaw (@DanCrenshawTX) August 11, 2021
One of President Joe Biden’s first acts as president was to revoke the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, which would have carried over 800,000 barrels of oil a day from western Canada to oil refineries throughout the Midwest and Gulf Coast.
The Biden administration also quickly moved to issue a suspension of new oil and gas leasing and drilling permits for U.S. lands and waters.
The national average of gas prices has consistently reached record highs since the Biden administration took office.