In 1960, five nations joined together to form The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Today, the 13 member states and 10 non-OPEC Participating Countries that make up what’s known as OPEC+ say they control over 80% of the world’s oil reserves. Some of the governments are not friendly to the United States, and Russia has emerged as a leader alongside Saudi Arabia in pushing for slashes to oil production.
On Wednesday, October 5, OPEC announced it was cutting oil production by two million barrels per day. The drop was more significant than the one million most analysts predicted. As the US continues to face high inflation and a potential recession, President Joe Biden has tried to persuade Saudi Arabia to increase oil supplies. According to National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and National Economic Council (NEC) Director Brian Deese, the slowdown disappointed the president.
Slowdown Disappoints Biden
The two White House officials said in a statement that OPEC+’s decision to cut two million barrels of oil per day was “shortsighted.” They argued maintaining the global oil supply was “of paramount importance” and said the decision would have significant consequences for middle- to lower-income countries already struggling with high energy prices.https://lockerdome.com/lad/14001166036186214?pubid=ld-6064-290&pubo=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.rightwing.org&rid=www.rightwing.org&width=696
They stated the president was “disappointed” in their decision.
To counter OPEC’s move and keep gas prices stable in the US, Sullivan and Deese said the government would release 10 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) in the next month. Since Biden began releasing oil from the reserves in March, it’s shrunk to the lowest level since 1985. They added the president directed the Secretary of Energy to explore “responsible actions” to increase domestic oil production in the immediate future.
On Friday, the administration released an announcement titled: FACT SHEET: Biden-Harris Administration Strengthens the Federal Government’s Resilience to Climate Change Impacts. It reinforced the government’s actions since Biden took office to combat global climate change, which may be partially responsible for the current gas prices, which are expected to climb again after the cartel’s announcement.
OPEC Decision Spites Biden and US Energy Companies Pounce
In July, the president visited Saudi Arabia to persuade it to increase oil production. Still, the nation might not have been very receptive after his frequent criticisms of its lack of human rights. After the trip, the oil giant said it would increase supplies slightly, but not at levels the administration had hoped. Just a few months later, it been undone.
After the cartel’s announcement, the US Oil and Gas Association called the president out over his hypocrisy in a tweet.
In the early days of his presidency, Biden revoked the permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline and paused drilling on federal lands and waters. He has recently looked to foreign countries such as Venezuela, which are not friendly to the US after gas prices began rising quickly, reaching the highest prices in US history in June.
The administration took credit for drops as gas costs steadily fell over the last few months. As prices start to go up again, it could directly impact the midterm elections on Tuesday, November 8. Will they take responsibility for the increases?
Instead of trying to get other countries to increase supplies, why doesn’t Biden work with US energy companies to make America energy independent again and reduce costs to US consumers? What do you think Biden should do?