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In the light of high gasoline prices in the United States, House Republicans on Thursday sent a letter to the White House requesting that it end the budget restrictions on the U.S. fossil fuel industry.
The letter comes just a day after the White House urged OPEC to produce more crude oil to alleviate high gasoline prices that are squeezing consumers during pandemic times.
The letter, sent by House Republicans on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, asked Biden to remove the current restrictions in the 2022 budget that prohibits the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from engaging in any project "that directly subsidizes fossil fuels, including work that lowers the cost of production, lowers the cost of consumption, or raises the revenues retained by producers of fossil fuels."
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers oversees a multitude of fossil fuel projects across the nation.
Additional subsidies for the U.S. oil and gas industry could spur further development—which could spell trouble for the green administration that is trying to be perceived as aggressively green.
But the White House agrees more production is needed—it just disagrees that it needs to come from the United States.
"We are engaging with relevant OPEC+ members on the importance of competitive markets in setting prices," U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said on Wednesday in a statement.
"Competitive energy markets will ensure reliable and stable energy supplies, and OPEC+ must do more to support the recovery," Sullivan added, in what was one of the first direct calls from the Biden administration on the OPEC+ alliance. "Higher gasoline costs, if left unchecked, risk harming the ongoing global recovery," he added.
But at a Wednesday press briefing, The White House said it had no plans to incentivize U.S. oil producers to ramp up oil production.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.