Politics

As gas prices rise, White House says OPEC action is ‘simply not enough’

The White House is set to press OPEC and its oil-producing allies to boost production in an effort to combat climbing gasoline prices, amid concerns that rising inflation could derail the economic recovery from Covid-19.

Officials from the Biden Administration spoke with representatives from OPEC’s de facto leader Saudi Arabia this week, as well as with representatives from the United Arab Emirates and other OPEC+ members. The White House said the group’s July agreement to boost production by 400,000 barrels per day on a monthly basis beginning in August and stretching into 2022 is “simply not enough” during a “critical moment in the global recovery.”

“We are engaging with relevant OPEC+ members on the importance of competitive markets in setting prices,” National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said in the statement obtained by CNBC. “Competitive energy markets will ensure reliable and stable energy supplies, and OPEC+ must do more to support the recovery.”

Gas prices have climbed this year as demand for petroleum products returns. The national average for a gallon of gas stood at $3.186 on Tuesday, according to AAA, up from $3.143 a month ago. Over the last year, prices are up by just over $1. In May, the national average crossed the $3 mark for the first time since 2014.

“The president recognizes that gas prices can put a pinch on the family budget,” said a senior White House official, who asked not to be identified to speak candidly about the issue. “He’d like his administration to use whatever tools that it has to help address the cost of gas, to help bring those prices down.”

OPEC+ made the unprecedented decision in April 2020 to remove nearly 10 million barrels per day from the market in an effort to support prices. U.S. producers also scaled back during the depths of the pandemic, and they’ve been slow to bring production back online. According to the latest data from the Energy Information Administration, U.S. production averaged 11.2 million bpd in May, down from the pre-pandemic high above 13 million.

ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: CNBC

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Paul, 37, is from Scotland in the UK, but currently lives and works in Bangkok. Paul has worked in different industries such as telemarketing, retail, hospitality, farming, insurance, and teaching, where he works now. He teaches at an all-girls High School in Bangkok. “It’s a lot of work, but I love my job.” Paul has an active interest in politics. His reason for writing for FBA is to offer people the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. Whilst he believes opinion columns have their place, it is also important that people can have accurate news with no bias.

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