OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
The situation for Democrats is getting desperate as they want to keep their power in the House and Senate against the odds.
And President Joe Biden, possibly because of concerns he has about voters voting Republican as gas prices rise, has agreed to release more oil from the strategic oil reserves, the White House said on its website.
“President Biden is directing his Administration to take additional action to strengthen energy security, address the supply crunch, and lower costs.
“First, the Department of Energy (DOE) is issuing a Notice of Sale tomorrow morning for 15 million barrels from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to be delivered in December. This sale will complete the historic, 180-million-barrel drawdown the President announced in the spring, which has helped to stabilize crude oil markets and reduce prices at the pump. The President is also calling on DOE to be ready to move forward with additional significant SPR sales this winter if needed due to Russian or other actions disrupting global markets,” The White House said.
“Second, the President is announcing that the Administration intends to repurchase crude oil for the SPR when prices are at or below about $67-$72 per barrel, adding to global demand when prices are around that range. As part of its commitment to ensure replenishment of the SPR, the DOE is finalizing a rule that will allow it to enter fixed price contracts through a competitive bid process for product delivered at a future date. This repurchase approach will protect taxpayers and help create certainty around future demand for crude oil. That will encourage firms to invest in production right now, helping to improve U.S. energy security and bring down energy prices that have been driven up by Putin’s war in Ukraine,” it said.
“Third, the President is calling on companies to pass through lower energy costs to consumers right away. The profit that energy refining companies are now capturing on every gallon of gasoline is about double what it typically is at this time of year, and the retailer margin over the refinery price is more than 40 percent above the typical level. These outsized industry profit margins – adding more than $0.60 to the average price of a gallon of gas – have kept pump prices higher than they should be. Keeping prices high even as input costs fall is unacceptable, and the President will call on companies to pass their savings through to consumers – now,” it said.
It came after Saudi Arabia accused the Biden administration of waiting to cut production of oil until closer to the midterm elections.
“An official at the Foreign Ministry in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia stated that the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has viewed the statements issued about the Kingdom following the OPEC+ decision announced on October 5, 2022, which have described the decision as the Kingdom taking sides in international conflicts and that it was politically motived against the United States of America,” it said on its website.
“The Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia would first like to express its total rejection of these statements that are not based on facts, and which are based on portraying the OPEC+ decision out of its purely economic context. This decision was taken unanimously by all member states of the OPEC+ group.
“The Kingdom affirms that the outcomes of the OPEC+ meetings are adopted through consensus among member states and that they are not based on the unilateral decision by a single country. These outcomes are based purely on economic considerations that take into account maintaining a balance of supply and demand in the oil markets, as well as aim to limit volatility that does not serve the interests of consumers and producers, as has been always the case within OPEC +,” it said.
“The OPEC+ group makes its decisions independently in accordance with established independent practices followed by the international organizations.
“The Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia would also like to clarify that based on its belief in the importance of dialogue and exchange of views with its allies and partners outside the OPEC + group regarding the situation in the oil markets, the Government of the Kingdom clarified through its continuous consultation with the US Administration that all economic analyses indicate that postponing the OPEC+ decision for a month, according to what has been suggested, would have had negative economic consequences,” the nation said.
“The Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia affirms that any attempts to distort the facts about the Kingdom’s position regarding the crisis in Ukraine are unfortunate, and will not change the Kingdom’s principled position, including its vote to support UN resolutions regarding the Russian-Ukrainian crisis, based on the Kingdom’s position on the importance for all countries to adhere to the United Nations Charter, principles of international law, and the Kingdom’s rejection of any infringement on the sovereignty of countries over their territories.
“The Kingdom stresses that while it strives to preserve the strength of its relations with all friendly countries, it affirms its rejection of any dictates, actions, or efforts to distort its noble objectives to protect the global economy from oil market volatility,” it said.
“Resolving economic challenges requires the establishment of a non-politicized constructive dialogue, and to wisely and rationally consider what serves the interests of all countries.
“The Kingdom affirms that it views its relationship with the United States of America as a strategic one that serves the common interests of both countries. The Kingdom also stresses the importance of building on the solid pillars upon which the Saudi-US relationship had stood over the past eight decades. These pillars include mutual respect, enhancing common interests, actively contributing to preserving regional and international peace and security, countering terrorism and extremism, and achieving prosperity for the peoples of the region,” it said.