On Wednesday, the Biden White House asked the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to increase oil production and exportation in an attempt to reduce rising gas prices in the United States, the Daily Caller reports.
Biden’s National Security Adviser, Jake Sullivan, released a statement saying that “higher gasoline prices, 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 added that the recent production increases to which OPEC has already agreed, “these increases will not fully offset previous production cuts that OPEC imposed during the pandemic until well into 2022…This is simply not enough.”
Rising gas prices have become one of the most persistent problems under the Biden presidency, in conjunction with broader price increases due to inflation after several massive spending bills were passed by Congress. With regards to oil and natural gas, Republicans criticized Biden for shutting down several major pipelines that would have secured America’s energy independence, as part of a campaign pledge to fight “global warming.”
Among these was the Keystone XL Pipeline, which was approved and began construction under President Donald Trump, but halted by Biden immediately after he seized power. Biden also ordered the suspension of all new oil and gas leases in the country. During the Trump presidency, the United States not only became energy independent, but also became a leading exporter of oil and other natural gasses. As a result, the nation was no longer dependent on foreign oil from the Middle East and other volatile regions, thus leading to a reduction in prices due to resource stability.
“We are engaging with relevant OPEC members on the importance of competitive markets in setting prices,” Sullivan continued. “Competitive energy markets will ensure reliable and stable energy supplies, and OPEC must do more to support the recovery.”