Joe Biden has criticized Russia and OPEC countries for boosting US energy costs, even as he implements steps to restrict US oil and natural gas output.
“If you take a look at, you know, gas prices and you take a look at oil prices, that is a consequence of, thus far, the refusal of Russia or the OPEC nations to pump more oil,” Biden told reporters on Tuesday at the COP26 climate summit in Scotland. “We’ll see what happens on that score sooner than later,” he added.
Since the beginning of 2021, prices for the key US crude benchmark, West Texas Intermediate (WTI), have risen to roughly $84 per barrel from $48 per barrel, adding to the country’s highest inflation rate in 13 years. Gas prices have reached a seven-year high. After starting the year below $2.50/mmBtu, the primary natural gas benchmark, Henry Hub, is nearing $6/mmBtu in Nymex futures trading.
While the president pointed the finger at Russia and OPEC for failing to help bring down oil prices, he said that inflation more broadly is being spurred by the Covid-19 pandemic’s impact on supply chains. US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said on Sunday that the supply-chain woes will continue until the pandemic ends.