White House races to block expected OPEC+ production cut

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    Oil prices have fallen to roughly $80 from over $120 in early June amid growing fears about the prospect of a global economic recession.

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    WASHINGTON — The White House is engaged in a desperate, last-ditch effort to convince OPEC+ members to vote against a proposed production cut at Wednesday’s meeting of the oil producing cartel, according to multiple sources familiar with the effort.

    Publicly, the White House has issued general statements about keeping up global energy supply.

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    But behind the scenes, members of the Biden administration have been “pulling out all the stops,” reaching out to partners in the Persian Gulf and warning of drastic consequences to the global economy if a production cut is announced, according to multiple people familiar with the situation.

    The White House has even tried, unsuccessfully, to enlist companies to speak out against a production cut, according to peoples who asked to remain anonymous to describe private conversations.

    With U.S. midterm elections just a month away, any increase to gas prices would be a political gift to Republicans, who have blamed Biden for the record high gas prices brought on primarily by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

    Wednesday’s meeting of the expanded oil producing cartel underway in Vienna is widely expected to result in the adoption of a cut to the production target quotas, although the question is how large of a cut.

    OPEC has not announced a major cut since the early days of the Coronavirus pandemic in 2020, when global demand for energy plummeted as billions of people stayed home.

    This is a developing story, please check back for updates.

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