The refusal of OPEC+ to increase crude oil production is affecting America's working class, President Biden said at a news conference following the G20 meeting in Rome.
"I do think that the idea that Russia and Saudi Arabia and other major producers are not going to pump more oil so people can have gasoline to get to and from work, for example, is not, is not, right," Biden said as quoted by Russian TASS.
"It [OPEC+'s decision to keep a lid on output increases] has profound impact on working class families just to get back and forth to work," the U.S. President added, as quoted by NPR.
The comments made by the U.S. President were later the same day echoed more bluntly by Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, who directly blamed the OPEC cartel for keeping prices high.
"Gas prices, of course, are based on a global oil market. That oil market is controlled by a cartel. That cartel is Opec," Granholm told NBC's Meet the Press. "So that cartel has more say about what is going on."
At the same time, Granholm noted that the oil industry could not "flip a switch" for production as it recovers from the effects of the pandemic and this, too, contributed to higher prices resulting from the tight supply.
Even if factors influencing gas prices at the pump in the United States may be outside the country, the effects of price movements are already costing Biden approval among voters. According to NPR, his rating is well below 50 percent, with 70 percent of Americans believing the country is not going in the right direction.
Also at the news conference, the U.S. President said he was confident the country could meet his administration's goal of emission cuts, which is 50 percent from 2005 by 2030. Yet, the president acknowledged that the renewable shift cannot happen overnight.
"On the surface, it seems like an irony," Biden said, referring to his call on OPEC+ to add more oil production while heading for COP26 to discuss the reduction of global emissions. "But the truth of the matter is ... everyone knows that idea that we're going to be able to move to renewable energy overnight ... it's just not rational."
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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