On Tuesday’s broadcast of CNN’s “The Lead,” CNN Senior National Security Correspondent Alex Marquardt reported that the White House is “panicking” over the prospect that OPEC will cut oil production and is engaging in a “furious, last-ditch, wide-scale effort” to lobby against a production cut.
Marquardt said that, according to a “U.S. official,” “the White House, in fact, is panicking, that this is something that they desperately do not want to happen. Cutting oil production means higher oil prices, it means higher gas prices. That, of course, is something that the Biden administration does not want to happen right now. So, tomorrow, there’s this meeting of the oil-producing countries, this cartel known as OPEC. It is ostensibly led by Saudi Arabia. Russia is also a member. The United States is not a member. And what we have learned, myself and our colleagues Natasha Bertrand and Phil Mattingly, is that there is this furious, last-ditch, wide-scale effort to lobby the OPEC-plus oil-producing countries to not cut oil production, that senior members of the Biden administration are reaching out to members of the cartel, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates. The cartel could cut as much as 1 million barrels a day in production, that would be the biggest cut since the beginning of the pandemic. Now, this effort is being led by the top Biden administration official for energy, Amos Hochstein. They’ve also enlisted the top White House official for the Middle East, Brett McGurk. But interestingly, they’ve also — just to show you how widespread this is — reached out to the Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen, asking her to reach out to counterparts around the world. And we actually got talking points that the White House sent to Treasury that have very blunt language suggesting that Yellen say some of this to her counterparts. They say that this would be a ‘total disaster[,]’ it would be seen as a ‘hostile act’ against the United States. This is very blunt language. The White House says that these were draft talking points and not used. But it does give insight into how nervous they are, Jake.”
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