On Tuesday’s show of CNN’s “The Lead,” CNN’s senior national security correspondent Alex Marquardt reported that the White House is “freaking out” that OPEC is cutting oil production and engages in a “furious, last chance, full scale”. effort” to lobby against a reduction in production.
Marquardt said that, according to a “US official,” “the White House, in fact, is panicking, that this is something they desperately don’t want to happen. Cutting oil production means higher oil prices, that means higher gas prices. That’s of course something that the Biden administration doesn’t want to happen right now. So tomorrow there’s this meeting of oil-producing countries, this cartel which is called 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, full-scale effort to pressure the OPEC-plus oil-producing nations not to cut oil production, that senior Biden administration members reach out to cartel members, including Saudi Arabia say, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. The cartel could cut up to 1 million barrels per day of production, which would be the biggest cut since the start of the pandemic. Now that effort is being led by the Biden administration’s top energy official, Amos Hochstein. They also enlisted top White House Middle East official Brett McGurk. But interestingly, they also – just to show you how widespread this is – contacted Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, asking her to contact her counterparts around the world. And we’ve actually received talking points that the White House sent to Treasury that have very direct language suggesting that Yellen is telling his counterparts some of this. They say it would be a “total disaster[,]’ This would be considered a ‘hostile act’ against the United States. It is a very direct language. The White House says these were preliminary and unused talking points. But it gives a glimpse of their nervousness, Jake.
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