as President Biden Heading to Saudi Arabia this week to ask for more energy production from the Middle Eastern country, U.S. Energy Department officials say Biden should visit the state instead.
“We think Texas is much closer than Saudi Arabia,” American Exploration and Production Council CEO Ann Bradbury told Fox News Digital. “And President Biden doesn’t need to travel halfway around the world to solve this energy crisis. He’s right here at home.”
“If the administration is serious about increasing supply, they should be meeting with producers at home, not governments overseas.” American Petroleum Corporation spokeswoman Christina Noel said.
Biden’s Middle East tour includes visits to several countries, including Israel. The White House says the president will tackle geopolitical issues while there.
But with high gas prices and burning hot inflation, his Friday trip to Saudi Arabia, And energy diplomacy in the oil kingdom will be the most closely watched part of the trip. Amid human rights criticism of Saudi Arabia, including its treatment of homosexuals and the killing of Jamal Khashoggi.
“Amidst this broader agenda, we will have the opportunity to talk about energy security with OPEC leaders in the Middle East, who discussed energy security during their trips to Europe and the Indo-Pacific,” National Security Adviser Jack Sullivan told reporters Monday.
“Human rights are America’s strategic interests. Energy security, stopping terrorism, and seeking peace in a place like Yemen,” Sullivan added.
However, Energy Staff and Technology Council CEO Leslie Baier told Fox News Digital that Biden would not need to ask the Saudis for more oil if he switched. His administration’s stance on domestic production.
“First, the stigma of the industry prevents us from being able to access the capital we need for long-term investments in production. That’s really the primary area that can hold back production,” Bayer said. “It also damages our ability to get workers.”
Name also criticized the Securities and Exchange Commission’s proposed regulations and said the Interior’s five-year plan on oil lease sales was inadequate.
“Industry can’t say on the one hand, ‘You need to produce more,’ and on the other hand tie our hands,” she said.
“The inconsistent and hostile messages and policies we’ve seen from this administration have been a significant headwind,” Bradbury added.
Meanwhile, the White House said domestic oil production is rising and oil companies have more production capacity.
“Under President Biden, U.S. oil production will increase and soon reach record highs. In fact, the U.S. produced more oil in President Biden’s first year than in the first two years of the previous administration, and an additional 9,000 authorized drilling permits remain unused by oil companies,” the White House press release said. Spokesperson Abdullah Hasan told Fox News Digital.
Hasan added: “President Biden is committed to doing everything he can to lower prices at the pump, and oil and gas companies should not use this moment as an excuse not to pass on their savings to consumers at the pump.”
A White House comment on oil and gas leases has taken up the issue before industry representatives. Bradbury called it a “red herring,” while Bayer said “some permits are viable and some aren’t,” citing many as sitting unused.
Biden recently demanded that gas stations lower their prices as oil prices moderated their recent highs. The White House has accused oil producers of taking advantage of rising prices to boost their profits during Russia’s war on Ukraine.
But Baer and Bradbury said the White House didn’t understand comments like that FACTS OF ENERGY ECONOMY.
“The fundamental flaw in that is that it doesn’t recognize the economy and the global industry markets,” Bayer said. “So it’s not the refiners, not the oil producers that determine the price of oil or the price of natural gas. It’s the global market.”
Bradbury added: “It shows a fundamental misunderstanding of our industry. Our industry is price takers, not price setters. And, you know, I don’t hear a lot of sympathy from those Democrats. Prices went negative. A year and a half ago.”
The White House would not elaborate earlier this week on any specific requests for Biden while in Saudi Arabia, where high temperatures will top 110 degrees for the next two weeks, with lows in the 80s. But it made it clear that Biden would ask for more oil from the Saudis.
“I’m not going to go into a specific characterization of ‘enough’. What I’m saying is that the president believes that gas prices are too high and that we need to do more with global energy supply,” Sullivan said. “He will take every step in his power to try to bring that about, both here at home and in terms of his diplomatic engagement in the world.”