OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
As the White House and Democrats blame OPEC for the rise in gas prices, a top Saudi Arabian official is laying the blame on President Joe Biden.
Saudi Arabia’s Minister of State Adel al-Jubeir spoke to Fox News and said it is the lack of domestic production in the United States that has led to high gas prices.
“With due respect, the reason you have high prices in the United States is because you have a refining shortage that has been in existence for more than 20 years. You haven’t built refineries in decades,” he said.
“Oil is not a weapon. It’s not a fighter plane. It’s not a tank. You can’t shoot it. You can’t do anything with it. We look at oil as a commodity and we look at oil as important to the global economy in which we have a huge stake. The idea that Saudi Arabia would do this to harm the U.S. or to be in any way politically involved is absolutely not correct at all,” he said.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was asked about the OPEC decision this week and said it was “misguided.
“Yeah. All right, so based off what OPEC has proposed, two questions. One, does the U.S. view Saudis as a trustworthy partner? And two, would a production cut in oil help Putin because it would raise prices, possibly?” the reporter said.
“So there was a statement on the OPEC decision that went out while we were all in the air. It came out from Jake Sullivan and Brian Deese. So I just wanted to make sure that you guys are all aware of that,” the press secretary responded.
“So let me just say a couple of things and just kind of lift up some of the things that came up from that — from — came out of that statement.
“So OPEC’s decision to cut productions quotas is shortsighted while the global economy is dealing with the continued negative impact of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine,” she said.
“If there’s a meaningful price impact of OPEC’s decision, it will particularly be on low- and middle-income countries.
“The President’s efforts have made progress bringing down U.S. gas prices. Since the beginning of the summer, gas prices are down nearly $1.20. And the most common price at gas stations today is $3.29 per gallon,” the press secretary said.
“The President is determined to ensure that progress continues. At the President’s direction, the Department of Energy will deliver another 10 million barrels from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to the market next month as part of the historic 180 million barrel release the President ordered back in March. And the President will continue to direct SPR releases as necessary.
“He is directing the Secretary of Energy to explore any additional responsible actions to continue increasing domestic production, which is on track to break a historic record next year. And the President is once again calling on U.S. — U.S. energy companies to keep bringing pump prices down by closing the historically large gap between wholesale and retail ga- — retail gas prices,” she said.
“In light of today’s actions — action, the President — the President’s administration will also consult with Congress on additional tools and authorities to reduce OPEC’s control over energy prices.
“And lastly, today’s announcement is a reminder of why it is so critical that United States reduce its reliance on foreign sources of fossil — fossil fuels,” she argued.
“With the Inflation Reduction Act, we are making a historic investment in accelerating the energy — the energy — the transition to clean energy.
“As it relates to — to Russia, your — your last question, first: Look, it’s clear that OPEC+ is aligning with — with Russia with today’s announcement. And I’ll leave it — I’ll leave it as that,” the press secretary said.
“As — as I just laid out, you know, we’re dealing with a time where we’re — we are — you know, the global markets are — the global economy is responding to Putin’s war. And so by making this decision, it is going to have an effect on low and middle — middle economic — economic- — income countries. And so that is — that is where we are today. So I’ll leave it there,” she said.
“Look, what we think is that this decision by OPEC+ is one purported self-interest — is a mistake and it’s misguided,” she said.