President Joe Biden called on a conglomerate of 23 oil-producing countries, led largely by Russia and Saudi Arabia, to increase oil production to combat rising fuel prices.
The White House released a statement by national security advisor Jake Sullivan on Wednesday calling on OPEC to boost oil production. Sullivan argued that high fuel prices are stunting the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The White House said:
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.
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.
President Biden has made clear that he wants Americans to have access to affordable and reliable energy, including at the pump. Although we are not a party to OPEC, the United States will always speak to international partners regarding issues of significance that affect our national economic and security affairs, in public and private. 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.
The White House statement appeared to have an immediate impact on oil prices. As The Wall Street Journal reports: “Brent crude, the international oil benchmark, fell 0.8% to $70.04 a barrel after the White House announcement. Oil prices have experienced volatility in recent days due to concerns over the Delta variant of Covid-19.”- READ MORE