OPEC Opts Against Big Output Boost, Pushing Oil Prices to Seven-Year High

This week, the Wall Street Journal featured a piece by Benoit Falcon and Summer Said outlining OPEC’s decision to not increase production at the levels world leaders like President Biden have been begging for. This strategic move by foreign competitors coupled with the Biden administration’s anti-American energy policies have pushed U.S. crude prices to their highest levels since 2014. 

Our domestic oil drilling levels and output have not yet returned to pre-pandemic levels as we hoped they would. With the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia only agreeing to lift their collective output by 400,000 barrels a day (less than what DAPL transports in a day), the United States has been backed into the uncomfortable corner of energy dependence. 

As written in the WSJ article, “The last time that domestic crude prices were so high, there were roughly 1,100 more rigs drilling for oil than the mere 428 at work last week, according to oil-field-services firm Baker Hughes Inc.” This year, average daily crude production has been 6.7% lower than the previous year, as well as having decreased commercial stockpiles of crude to back us. 

The control of pricing is very much in the hands of OPEC. On a tangible level that hurts the pocketbook of everyday Americans, the U.S. is starting to feel the repercussions of our lost energy independence. To ever get our feet back under us, domestic energy infrastructure like pipelines must be supported, the White House must side with American energy producers over foreign ones, and the most reliable, affordable sources of energy (petroleum and natural gas) can’t be discriminated against by harmful policies.

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