A difficult August for the Biden Administration has gotten even worse with news that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has denied a request from Biden to increase oil production. With Russia, OPEC has rejected the idea of releasing more oil into the market. The White House had requested this in an attempt to lower inflation in the United States, a looming problem for an administration already struggling to cope with the Afghanistan crisis.
OPEC rejects Biden request
Inflation began to rise dramatically with the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic but that rise has become significantly more noticeable under the Biden Administration.
Recent polling indicates that a large majority of Americans from both parties blame this inflation at least partially on the current president.
The White House is evidently beginning to feel the pressure. The plea for an increase in oil production from OPEC and Russia smacks of desperation.
The hope was evidently that these nations might agree to alleviate the situation for the administration by making more oil available for the U.S. market, a move which would drive down oil prices for consumers.
Unfortunately for the president it would be economically and politically absurd for OPEC and Russia to accept this proposal.
Acceptance would mean that these countries would be weakening their own economic positions and, predictably, they do not appear to have given the request any serious consideration.
Inflation still rising
It is possible that the Biden Administration made the outlandish request in an attempt to reassure the American people that some effort is being made to combat rising inflation.
If this was the case then they could have picked a better symbolic action. It would be insane for the major oil producing nations to damage their own economies to help the United States in handling a purely domestic issue.
No sane world leader would be willing to sacrifice the prosperity of their own people in exchange for nothing more than the gratitude of Joe Biden.
The White House may have hoped that the stunt would shift the blame for rising prices onto OPEC, though any thinking member of the public should be able to see that it was an entirely unreasonable request.
The underlying issue of inflation goes far beyond rising gas prices. Biden Administration economic policy, not OPEC obstinacy, is driving inflation in America.
If Biden’s advisors really believed that their request might succeed then they are quite stupid. If it was intended only as a political stunt then they believe that the American people are quite stupid. Either explanation could be true under this administration.