Leaders Blast Biden's OPEC Plea
Friday, August 13, 2021

Political and oil industry leaders reacted with outrage this week to a message from the Biden administration, urging OPEC and its allies to boost oil output to reduce rising gasoline prices that they see as a threat to economic recovery.

Biden's national security adviser Jake Sullivan criticized big drilling nations, including Saudi Arabia, for what he said were insufficient crude production levels in the aftermath of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

The North Dakota Petroleum Council called out Biden's hypocrisy, noting his administration's previous actions that reduced the ability of U.S. oil producers to deliver more crude to the market.

“Since he took office, President Biden has been using every tool available to hamstring our domestic oil and gas industry, immediately signing Executive Orders to stop leasing of federal resources and instructing every level of the federal government to draft rules and regulations to restrict our ability to produce affordable and reliable energy here in the United States,” said NDPC President Ron Ness. “If the White House actually cared about Americans having access to 'affordable and reliable' energy, as they claim in their statement, they would be taking every step necessary to facilitate increased production here in America and ease off their plans to regulate our domestic industry out of business." 

ND Governor Doug Burgum also took issue with Biden's statement suggesting that OPEC increase oil production to offset high fuel prices.

“This is another glaring example of the Biden administration’s failed and misguided energy policies, including issuing executive orders restricting U.S. energy production and transportation, putting up red tape and creating regulatory roadblocks,” Burgum said. “Instead of urging foreign nations to boost oil output to reduce U.S. gasoline prices, the administration should be encouraging and supporting states like North Dakota to increase oil production to pre-pandemic levels to reduce our reliance on foreign energy sources."

The government of Alberta, where production was stymied by Biden's cancellation of the Keystone XL Pipeline, also responded to Biden's plea to OPEC. Minister of Energy Sonya Savage said Biden's plea "smacks of hypocrisy."

“Keystone XL would have provided Americans with a stable source of energy from a trusted ally and friend that adheres to the highest ESG standards in the world with industry commitments to net-zero production," Savage said. "Had pipelines not been politicized by opponents of oil and gas, Keystone XL would have been operational for years and reliably delivering nearly 1 million barrels of oil every day to American refineries."

“The bottom line is the world needs Alberta’s energy," Savage continued. "Albertans own the third-largest oil reserves in the world and our industry is at the forefront of innovation and technology to reduce emissions and produce oil with the lowest carbon footprint. We are well-positioned to meet global demand and support a post-pandemic economic recovery."

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