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The US fossil fuel industry took a hard line on President Joe Biden after OPEC announced dramatic production cuts, saying the government now has no choice but to encourage more domestic production.
“The White House has one option left and it’s the one option they should never have turned away from in the first place: the US-based oil and gas industry,” the US Oil and Gas Association tweeted Wednesday.
“Life is coming at you pretty quickly…” the trading group added derisively, after OPEC announcing that it will cut oil production by about 2 million barrels per day, limiting supply at a time when gas prices are already painfully high .
US oil producers, accusing the Biden administration of stifling domestic production with overbearing regulations, responded to the OPEC move by saying America should drastically increase its own production.
US fossil fuel industry had tough words on President Joe Biden after OPEC announced dramatic cuts in production
On the campaign trail in 2020, Biden vowed to “end fossil fuels” over climate change concerns, and his administration has proposed and enacted some tougher regulations that have discouraged new investment in drilling and refining.
With gas prices averaging a painful $3.83 across the country and poised to soar rapidly amid supply concerns, the energy crisis could come back to hurt Democrats in the approaching midterm elections.
Dan Kish, senior vice president at the Pro-Fossil Fuel Institute for Energy Research, found irony in the situation.
“President Biden and his administration have done everything in their power from day one to unilaterally disarm US energy production and he now wants to blame everyone for his dangerous policies,” Kish said. Forbes.
“His routine is long gone and Americans are going to pay the price for his continued assault on American energy,” he added.
“This administration’s energy policy is nonsensical and makes us more dependent on foreign sources,” said Anne Bradbury, CEO of the American Exploration and Production Council.
“Instead, the Biden administration should focus on increasing production here in the US through thoughtful and comprehensive energy policies that help lower costs and make us less dependent on foreign resources,” she added.
The American Petroleum Institute criticized Biden for severely restricting federal land leased for oil and gas production compared to previous presidents
Biden will meet Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in July. Saudi-led OPEC defied Biden’s pleas to increase oil production by announcing major austerity measures
“The solution to meeting the demand for affordable, reliable energy is right here in the United States,” said Mike Sommers, president and CEO of American Petroleum Institute.
“We are facing a growing energy crisis driven by geopolitical instability and US policymakers should do everything in their power to produce more energy here in America, not push foreign regimes for more oil,” he added. .
Meanwhile, the White House denied reports that it plans to ease sanctions against Venezuela in a desperate attempt to boost the socialist dictatorship’s oil exports.
“Our sanctions policy against Venezuela remains unchanged. We will continue to implement and enforce our sanctions against Venezuela,” White House National Security Council spokesman Adrienne Watson told Reuters on Wednesday.
Watson said the United States does not intend to change its sanctions policy on Venezuela “without constructive steps” from Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro to restore democracy
It followed a report by the Wall Street Journal that Washington was preparing to relax some sanctions against Venezuela so that Chevron Corp could resume pumping oil there.
The paper reported that in exchange for the relief of sanctions, Maduro’s government would resume talks with the opposition to discuss the conditions needed to hold free and fair presidential elections in 2024.
A drilling rig stands at the site of an oil well outside of Williston, North Dakota in a file photo
A Chevron gas station shows prices from $8.35 per gallon in Los Angeles, California on Tuesday
The White House said on Wednesday that “it is clear” the oil alliance OPEC+ is joining Russia after it announced a massive production cut of two million barrels.
It will be a big boost for Moscow, despite the West’s attempts to divest its oil and gas revenues as a source of cash flow to fund Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.
Meanwhile, US drivers could face another surge in gas prices, which could ultimately be a huge setback for the Biden administration.
Energy ministers of the OPEC cartel, of which Saudi Arabia is the leading member, and allied non-members, including Russia, met in person for the first time since early 2020 at the group’s headquarters in Vienna.
Their announced production cut on Tuesday is the largest since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. It comes after barrel prices fell by about a quarter in just three months, now around $90, amid fears of an impending global recession.
In some parts of the US, however, prices have risen again, reaching as high as 60 cents a gallon, according to the Washington Post, underlining an already precarious environment.
President Joe Biden was asked about OPEC+’s decision when he boarded Marine One ahead of a visit to hurricane-ravaged Florida, but told reporters he “needs to see the details.”
He said he was “concerned” and reported that it was an “unnecessary” move.
A joint statement by White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and National Economic Council Director Brian Deese said Biden was “disappointed at the short-sighted decision.”
“At a time when maintaining global energy supplies is paramount, this decision will have the most negative impact on low- and middle-income countries already recovering from high energy prices,” the statement said.