Biden pushed to open oil drilling after OPEC cuts production

Biden pushed to open oil drilling after OPEC cuts production

American energy companies mocked President Biden over the OPEC cartel’s surprise decision to slash oil production — and said his only option was an immediate about-face on domestic drilling.

“Life comes at you pretty fast…” the US Oil & Gas Association jeered in a series of blistering tweets.

The industry group also invoked the president’s controversial fist bump with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman during a trip to the repressive kingdom in July, saying, “Seems like just yesterday the President was meeting with the Saudis…”

“The [White House] has one option left and it is the one option they should have never turned away from in the first place – the US based oil and gas industry,” it said.

The American Petroleum Institute also retweeted a message from last month in which it warned, “Access to domestic energy is critical to our ability to meet demand.”

Representatives of OPEC member countries attend a press conference after the 45th Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee and the 33rd OPEC and non-OPEC Ministerial Meeting in Vienna.
OPEC+ announced it was cutting back output by 2 million barrels a day.
AFP via Getty Images
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, right, greets President Joe Biden with a fist bump after his arrival at Al-Salam palace in Jeddah.
OPEC called out President Biden’s fist bump with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.
Saudi Royal Palace via AP
Saudi Arabia's Minister of Energy Abdulaziz bin Salman.
Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Energy Abdulaziz bin Salman looks on during a press conference.
AFP via Getty Images

“Just a reminder — amid calls to increase domestic production, the Biden administration has leased fewer acres for oil and gas production on federal lands and waters than any other administration dating back to the end of World War II,” it added.

OPEC+ — a consortium of countries that includes Russia — on Wednesday announced it was cutting back output by 2 million barrels a day, pushing the price of benchmark Brent crude oil to $93.21 a barrel from a recent low of $84.

The decision flew in the face of what CNN called a “full-scale pressure campaign” by Biden’s administration against the move.

Despite the demands from Big Oil, the White House is instead seeking to roll back sanctions on the socialist regime in Venezuela, which would allow Chevron Corp. to resume drilling there, according to the Wall Street Journal.

That would potentially pave the way toward reopening US and European markets to Venezuelan oil, people familiar with the plan told the Journal.

Instead of ramping up domestic production in light of the OPEC news, the White House also announced Wednesday that an additional 10 million barrels of oil would be released from the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve next month, even though Biden’s spokeswoman said a day earlier that “we’re not considering new releases.”

In March, Biden ordered the release of 180 million barrels from the SPR through September, a move that the Oil & Gas Association said meant his options there were “all but gone.”

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