The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its partners agreed to boost oil production on Thursday, backing a plan released earlier this month, ahead of President Joe Biden’s visit to Saudi Arabia in mid-July.
In their fifth meeting since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, which sent oil prices skyrocketing to above $100 a barrel for the first time in eight years, OPEC and a group of Russian-led non-OPEC members agreed to raise their collective production by 648,000 barrels a day.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki argued that higher gasoline prices, which critics blame the Biden administration for, highlight the need for a rapid transition to clean energy.
“Our view is that the rise in gas prices over the long term makes an even stronger case for doubling down our investment and our focus on clean energy options so we are not relying on the fluctuations and OPEC and their willingness to put more supply and meet the demand in the market,” Psaki told reporters during Friday’s press briefing.
As the supply chain crisis continues to worsen, Americans can expect to pay higher energy costs in order to maintain heating in the coming winter, says Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm.
In an interview with CNN’s Dana Bash on Sunday, Granholm said “this is going to happen…it will be more expensive this year than last year.”
While Granholm claimed that “we are in a slightly beneficial position…relative to Europe,” she nonetheless admitted that the United States has “the same problem in fuels that the supply chains have, which is that the oil and gas companies are not flipping the switch as quickly as the demand requires.”
Oil prices surged again Friday after foreign producers ignored the Biden administration’s repeated requests to boost output and resolve global shortages.
U.S. crude oil surpassed $80 per barrel while the lead foreign index broke $81 per barrel, both rising more than 1.5% compared to one day earlier, on Friday morning, according to the latest data. The Middle Eastern cartel Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its Russian counterpart, collectively known as OPEC+, rebuked the Biden administration Thursday and chose not to alter previously announced plans.
U.S. environmental policies pushed by the Biden administration and aimed at dramatically curbing domestic fossil fuel production have given Russian President Vladimir Putin more power on the world stage.
Since taking office, President Joe Biden has blocked domestic pipelines, ditched drilling projects, proposed sweeping regulations on the fossil fuel industry and attempted to ban oil and gas leases on federal lands while pledging to decarbonize the grid by 2035. But Biden has also turned to the Middle Eastern oil cartel the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russia, asking the countries to increase their production of oil and natural gas respectively.
With gasoline prices up more than $1 a gallon over the past year, the Biden administration took heat Wednesday over a statement from National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan pressuring OPEC nations to increase oil production.
“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 said. “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.”