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White House urges OPEC to increase oil output to control gas prices

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White House urges OPEC to increase oil output to control gas prices
California has the nation's most expensive gasoline, at $4.39 per gallon, followed by Hawaii ($4.10), Nevada ($4.05), Washington ($3.88), Utah ($3.87) and Idaho ($3.81), according to AAA. File Photo by Jemal Countess/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 11 (UPI) -- The White House said Wednesday that it's asking the world's top oil-producing nations to ramp up production to help offset rising gas prices in the United States and curb excessive inflation that could stifle the economy.

President Joe Biden's administration called on the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries -- a cartel of 13 oil-producing nations that include Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates -- to increase output.

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National security adviser Jake Sullivan included OPEC+ members, which include Russia, Malaysia and Mexico, in his remarks.

"The price of crude oil has been higher than it was at the end of 2019, before the onset of the pandemic," Sullivan said in a statement.

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OPEC agreed last month to raise oil production by 400,000 barrels per day, per month, but Sullivan said that's "simply not enough."

"[That] will not fully offset previous production cuts that OPEC+ imposed during the pandemic until well into 2022," he said, underscoring that now is a "critical moment in the global recovery."

"President Biden has made clear that he wants Americans to have access to affordable and reliable energy, including at the pump," he added.

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"Although we are not a party to OPEC, the United States will always speak to international partners regarding issues of significance that affect our national economic and security affairs, in public and private."

AAA said this week that while the cost of crude oil has declined some, prices at U.S. pumps are expected to remain high for at least the rest of August.

"Today's national average is $3.19," the organization said in a statement. "That is the most expensive gas price average of the year as well as $1.02 more than a year ago, a nickel more than a month ago and two cents more than a week ago."

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California has the nation's most expensive gasoline, at $4.39 per gallon, followed by Hawaii ($4.10), Nevada ($4.05), Washington ($3.88), Utah ($3.87) and Idaho ($3.81), according to AAA.

Mississippi ($2.79), Louisiana ($2.82) and Texas ($2.84) have the nation's least-expensive gas.

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