The U.S. Oil Gas Association mocked President Biden on Wednesday for not turning to the U.S. oil industry that he has snubbed, because he seemed to have no other options to counter rising gas prices.
President Biden said earlier Wednesday that he's going to release 10 million barrels of oil from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve SPR to combat rising prices. It came just hours after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries OPEC said it would be cutting production by 2 million barrels a day.
In March, Biden said he would release 1 million barrels of oil a day to counter record high gas prices amid a global economic recession, inflation and disruption to the market caused by the war in Ukraine. Reserves are at their lowest level in nearly 40 years.
The WH has one option left and it is the one option that the US oil and gas industry should never turn away from the first place, the US Oil and Gas Association tweeted Wednesday. Since taking office, life comes at you pretty fast. President Biden has had a hostile relationship with the oil industry. The president issued an executive order that would end the Keystone XL pipeline on his first day in office. He blamed oil companies for the surge in energy prices this year, which has been partially driven by Russian President Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine.
The decision of OPEC on Wednesday to reduce production to support sagging oil prices is expected to cause another blow to the struggling global economy and raise politically sensitive pump prices for US drivers just weeks ahead of the midterms.
The White House condemned the decision of the OPEC and said in a joint statement released by National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and NEC Director Brian Deese that Biden was disappointed by the shortsighted decision by the OPEC to cut production quotas while the global economy is dealing with the negative impact of Putin's invasion of Ukraine. Due to high inflation, rising interest rates, and energy uncertainty surrounding Russia's war in Ukraine, oil is trading well below its summer peak because of the fears that major global economies such as the U.S. or Europe will sink into a recession. The decision of theOPEC could help member Russia weather the European ban on most of Moscow's oil, but it has some limitations because countries in the alliance can't meet their quotas.
The uncertainty surrounding global economic and oil market outlooks was part of the decision of the OPEC. Saudi Energy Minister Abdulaziz bin Salman rejected questions referencing the reaction in Washington or implying that OPEC was assisting Russia and stressed the role of the group as a guardian of stable energy markets.
He told reporters that we are here to stay as a moderating force, to bring about stability.
The recent fall in oil prices has been a boon for U.S. drivers who saw lower gasoline prices at the pump before costs started to go up, and Biden's Democratic Party gears up for congressional elections next month.
Biden tried to get credit for gasoline prices falling from their average June peak of $5.02, with administration officials highlighting a late March announcement that a million barrels a day would be released from the strategic reserve for six months.
In Biden's first days in office, oil prices began to increase after he used executive orders to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline and paused oil and gas leases on federal lands.