by WorldTribune Staff, August 12, 2021
After six months of enacting policies that have crippled U.S. oil production, starting with the cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline, the Biden administration is now begging OPEC and non-OPEC members including Russia to boost output as prices at the pump soar.
The national average price for a gallon of gas was $3.185 Wednesday morning, according to AAA. That is up from $3.144 per gallon a month ago and $2.174 a gallon during this time last year. Some areas, including southern California, have seen prices rise to well over $4 per gallon.
In May, the national average passed $3 for the first time since 2014.
Along with canceling Keystone, Team Biden last year issued a wide-ranging moratorium on new oil and gas leases on federal land.
“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,” U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan said in a statement on Wednesday.
Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn said: “Begging the Saudis to increase production while the White House ties one hand behind the backs of American energy companies is pathetic and embarrassing.”
Domestic producers said that Biden could have looked to them to bolster the nation’s oil supply.
“It only stings more” when Biden “calls on Russia and Saudi Arabia to increase their energy production when we could do it right here in the United States,” said Jason Mogdin, president of the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers. “His first call should have been to the American producers to meet the needs of the American consumer.”
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said increased domestic production is not under consideration.
“That wasn’t an ask we made. We are not posing a supply question domestically. Obviously, OPEC has its own unique role in the global marketplace,” Psaki said.
In Canada, which was set to benefit greatly from the Keystone pipeline, Biden’s plea to OPEC was slammed by Sonya Savage, the minister of energy for Alberta.
“The Biden administration pleading with OPEC to increase oil production to rescue the United States from high fuel prices months after canceling the Keystone XL pipeline smacks of hypocrisy,” Savage said in a statement.