WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — The White House is eying ways to make up for a loss of oil supply abroad so Americans do not see an increase in gas prices.
“The president’s going to stay focused on making sure that we continue to keep the pain at the pump as minimal as possible,” spokesman John Kirby said.
Experts say higher prices could be on the horizon after OPEC — the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries — announced it would scale back production, slashing 2 million barrels per day starting in November.
At the same time, an order from President Joe Biden regularly releasing oil from the national strategic reserve runs out at the end of October. It had caused prices to fall from record highs over the summer.
“We’re looking at what alternatives we may have,” the president told reporters.
Kirby said OPEC’s decision, which the group argued would keep the energy market secure and stable, was “shortsighted.”
The Biden administration is urging the oil industry to ramp up domestic production to help fill the gap.
“We’re doing everything we can to make sure there are more leases available for drilling here in the United States,” Kirby said.
But the American Petroleum Institute, which represents the oil industry, said the administration’s policies have made domestic production more difficult.
“(The administration) has stifled American energy production on federal lands and waters, they’ve canceled pipelines, they’ve increased taxes,” API’s senior vice president of policy, economics and regulatory affairs Frank Macchiarola said.
The White House argued it has not been unfriendly to the industry.
Biden could tap Congress to work on a solution to avoid a surge in prices.