​BIDEN ADMINISTRATION IN A BIND OVER RISING GAS PRICES IN AMERICA

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. This is a decision that is biting Biden in the behind, and has every day since the revocation if Keystone XL.

The Biden administration also quickly moved to issue a suspension of new oil and gas leasing and drilling permits for U.S. lands andwaters.

On Wednesday the Biden administration called on the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to boost oil production in order to combat rising gasoline prices.

In a statement from national security adviser Jake Sullivan, “Higher gasoline costs, if left unchecked, risk harming the ongoing global recovery. the price of crude oil has been higher than it was at the end of 2019, before the onset of the pandemic.”

Sullivan continued, “While OPEC+ recently agreed tp 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.”

“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.

The current OPEC members consist of Algeria, Angola, Equatorial Guinea, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, the Republic of Congo, Saudi Arabia, The united Arab Emirates and Venezuela, while former member are Ecuador, Indonesia, and Qatar.

The non-OPEC countries which export crude oil are termed as OPEC+ counties.  OPEC plus countries include Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Brunel, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mexico, Oman, Russia, South Sudan and Sudan.

Basically, OPEC+ is an international conglomerate of major oil producers that includes the OPEC countries, mostly led by Saudi Arabia, as well as 10 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 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.  

 An example is Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX), the former U.S. Navy Seal, said in his tweet, “Reaching a whole new level of stupid, the Biden administration asks OPEC to increase production, while making every possible attempt to destroy cleaner American oil and gas.  Not just stupid, but ant-American!”

The national average of gas prices has consistently reached record highs since the Biden administration took office, and in continuing to do so.

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