President Joe Biden's words don’t seem to carry much weight these days with members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). On a recent trip to Florida to survey the damage caused by Hurricane Ian, he could be overheard saying to a man, “No one f*cks with a Biden.” The whole conversation between the pair was not clear.
Biden spoke after Governor Ron DeSantis, whom he complimented on the state’s efforts. He explained how much local and federal help is available to those affected by the disaster. But it was the brief conversation with a man nearby that caught the attention of news media.
For context, Biden has asked OPEC to increase oil production. And yet, the group made the decision to decrease it, according to a report by FOX News. Peter Doocy, known to ask direct questions of White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, made the point that it seems OPEC is f*cking with Biden.
“Now gas prices back home may start rising at a terrible time for him politically,” Doocy said.
OPEC+ said this week it will reduce the production of oil by two million barrels per day. The move aligns the group with Russia, and not the United States, which Jean-Pierre acknowledged.
Yet Biden has given nearly 1 million barrels of U.S. oil reserves to China, overlooking the needs of its own citizens who continue to pay exorbitant prices at the gas pump. The reserves were sold to a company that his son, Hunter Biden, has invested in.
After news about the OPEC+ decision was made public, national security adviser Jake Sullivan and economic adviser Brian Deese criticized the decision. The U.S. oil reserves at this point are nearly half empty due to Biden’s limiting domestic oil production and sales to other countries.
“At a time when maintaining a global supply of energy is of paramount importance, this decision will have the most negative impact on lower-and middle-income countries that are already reeling from elevated energy prices,” Sullivan and Deese wrote in the statement, adding that they are “disappointed” by the group’s decision.
Consumers in states where taxes are high, such as California, are currently paying more than $7 per gallon for gas. One Chevron station in Los Angeles is charging $7.95 per gallon for regular gasoline, with a price of $7.99 for premium, both a record high, according to GasBuddy.
The mission of OPEC states it exists to “coordinate and unify the petroleum policies of its Member Countries and ensure the stabilization of oil markets in order to secure an efficient, economic and regular supply of petroleum to consumers, a steady income to producers and a fair return on capital for those investing in the petroleum industry.”
The organization was created in 1960 and initially included Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela. Other counties have joined and left the organization over the years, but at no time has the United States been a member. In the early 1980s, demand for energy fell with a consumer shift away from hydrocarbons, causing economic instability in the member countries. This condition later fostered dialogue with non-OPEC countries.
In the 1990s, the focus turned more toward globalization, with the United Nations-sponsored climate change “Earth Summit” of 1992 wherein OPEC “sought fairness, balance, and realism in the treatment of oil supply.” Since that time, global economic uncertainty and “escalating social unrest in many parts of the world” have affected trade patterns. The focus on environmental concerns pushed the group toward the Paris Agreement in 2015 and all ten members ratified.
The U.S. was an energy-independent country during the previous administration. Now Biden has put the country at a disadvantage that directly affects its citizens’ pocketbooks, placing the U.S. at the mercy of foreign countries – who indeed seem to be “f*cking” with the POTUS when it comes to the supply of oil for the U.S.