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US oil prices hit six-year high after OPEC fails to reach deal
The White House is pressuring OPEC and its allies to boost oil production in a bid to tackle rising gasoline prices — despite imposing tighter restrictions on US oil companies last year.
Biden’s National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan issued a statement on Wednesday urging OPEC — the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries — to move faster to restore global supply of gasoline to pre-pandemic levels.
“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.”
OPEC cut output by 10 million barrels a day last year as demand for supply slumped amid COVID-19.
Since then, it has gradually increased and then cuts were at about 5.8 million barrels a day as of last month.
OPEC has already agreed to boost output by 400,000 barrels per day each month from August.
“The production cuts made during the pandemic should be reversed as the global economy recovers in order to lower prices for consumers,” President Joe Biden told reporters on Wednesday.
Gas prices are currently at an average of $3.18 a gallon at the pumps, which is up more than $1 from last year, according to the American Automobile Association.
Biden’s push for lower fuel prices seemingly grates with his administration’s efforts to be a global leader in the fight against climate change.
The White House set a goal to decarbonize the US economy by 2050.
Biden last year issued a wide-ranging moratorium on new oil and gas leases on federal land pending a review of its environmental and climate impacts.
Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn on Wednesday slammed Biden over the clashing priorities.
“It’s pretty simple: if the President is suddenly worried about rising gas prices, he needs to stop killing our own energy production here on American soil,” Cornyn said.
With Post Wires.
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