The White House is still pressing OPEC+ members to boost oil production amid a global energy crisis that has pushed gas prices to their highest level in years, according to an administration official.
A White House official told Reuters the Biden administration maintains its stance that OPEC should "do more" to address the crisis. Administration officials have held senior-level talks with OPEC members regarding the situation.
The Biden administration is "using every tool at our disposal to address anti-competitive practices in U.S. and global energy markets to ensure reliable and stable energy markets," the official added.
Oil prices have surged to a seven-year high in recent days, topping $82 per barrel on Monday. Production has trailed behind rising demand as economies around the world ramp up activity from COVID-19 pandemic levels. The crisis has pushed the cost of a gallon of gas to an average of $3.27, according to AAA.
OPEC+, a group comprised of members of the OPEC oil cartel and allies including Russia, has resisted calls to increase production faster than scheduled to meet the rising demand. Earlier this month, OPEC+ nations said they would continue to raise oil production along monthly benchmarks as they previously agreed – a decision that caused a spike in U.S. crude oil prices.
The White House has pushed for weeks for OPEC and its allies to take steps to stabilize the global market.
Last month, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the administration would "continue to speak to international partners, including OPEC, on the importance of competitive markets and setting prices and doing more to support the recovery." And in August, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said OPEC+’s rate of oil production increases was "simply not enough."
So far, the White House has declined to take direct action to alleviate rising gas prices. Last week, White House deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the administration would "work with our agency partners to determine if and when actions are needed."