The US administration has blamed Russia and OPEC countries for causing US energy prices to rise, even as he implements policies to curtail domestic oil and natural gas production.
Prices for the leading US crude benchmark, West Texas Intermediate (WTI), have surged to around $84 per barrel from $48 per barrel since the beginning of 2021, contributing to the nation’s highest inflation rate in 13 years.
Gasoline prices are at a seven-year high. The key natural gas benchmark. The Biden administration called on OPEC in August to help bring oil prices down, raising the ire of major US producers, who argued that he should be encouraging higher domestic supplies.
The day he took office in January, Biden revoked a federal permit for a new pipeline needed to bring more Canadian oil to US refiners.
A week later, he suspended the leasing of new oil and gas properties on federal lands and waters as part of his plan to slash reliance on fossil fuels.
The USA surpassed Russia and Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest crude producer in 2018 and became the third-biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas in 2019.
That same year, the country achieved net energy independence for the first time since the 1950’s – reaching a goal that many observers thought impossible.
But US oil and gas output stumbled last year amid the Covid-19 pandemic, and domestic volumes are projected to decline again in 2021.
RT. com / ABC Flash Point News 2021.