The Biden administration is sounding the alarm about fast-rising energy prices and demanding that Saudi Arabia and OPEC produce more oil - after the president paused all federal oil and gas leases. 

Prices at the pump are on average about $1.00 higher, 42%, than they were one year ago. 

'Higher gasoline costs, if left unchecked, risk harming the ongoing global recovery,' National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said in a statement Wednesday. 

He called on the world's largest oil producers, including OPEC nations and Saudi Arabia, to up their production. 

OPEC+ cut production by 10 million barrels per day at the height of the pandemic in 2020, and in July agreed to increase production by 400,000 barrels per day. 

'At a critical moment in the global recovery, this is simply not enough,' he said, adding that the administration was pressuring oil producers to undo the production cuts of the Covid-19 pandemic.  

The statement comes as the administration weighs inflation concerns with rising fuel prices against its climate change agenda, which led to cuts on the U.S.'s ability to produce its own oil. 

Prices at the pump are on average about $1.00 higher, 42%, than they were one year ago

Prices at the pump are on average about $1.00 higher, 42%, than they were one year ago

The rising prices and the administration's request are a sharp turn of events that signal a departure from policy under former President Trump, who threatened to withdraw military support if Saudi Arabia did not slash production in April 2020 when the price of oil fell to $25/barrel. 

Oil prices lowered Wednesday after the White House's demand, hovering around $70/barrel.  The average gas price per gallon today is $3.19, where one year ago it was $2.17. 


Republicans have blamed Biden’s shift toward green energy, which includes nixing the Keystone XL pipeline permit and pausing new federal oil and gas leases. Biden's Department of Energy’s statistics agency found that the pause will have "no effect" on energy prices until 2022 due to an 8 to ten-month delay from leasing to production. 

The pipeline was to carry some 830,000 barrels of crude oil daily from Canada to Nebraska.  

At the same time the administration is demanding more oil from the Middle East,  it is pushing through a $3.5 trillion spending package fraught with funds for climate initiatives, because 'we can't wait any longer,' to act on climate change, as the president says. 

The bill includes at least $333 billion for environmental and clean energy initiatives. 

The Biden administration is sounding the alarm about fast-rising energy prices and demanding that Saudi Arabia and OPEC produce more oil - after the president paused all federal oil and gas leases

The Biden administration is sounding the alarm about fast-rising energy prices and demanding that Saudi Arabia and OPEC produce more oil - after the president paused all federal oil and gas leases

Republicans have blamed Biden’s shift toward green energy, which includes nixing the Keystone XL pipeline permit and pausing new federal oil and gas leases

Republicans have blamed Biden’s shift toward green energy, which includes nixing the Keystone XL pipeline permit and pausing new federal oil and gas leases


Some argue the actions and rhetoric send a message about the future of fossil fuels, and the markets believe the Biden administration will continue to work to inhibit oil and gas production. Biden has pledge 100% net-zero emissions by 2050. 

Oil and gas trade groups say the president should be focused on increasing US production, instead of demanding more foreign oil. 

'Globally, we are seeing energy demand that has continued to outpace supply, and given these conditions, we should be focused on growing American energy leadership, not returning to the days of relying on OPEC to meet our supply needs,' Frank Macchiarola, SVP of Policy, Economics and Regulatory Affairs for the American Petroleum Institute, said in a statement to DailyMail.com. 

'Unfortunately, while American energy demand continues to rise as the economy recovers, misguided policies like the federal leasing pause could exacerbate the supply and demand imbalance and in the long run negatively affect U.S. consumers.' 

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