Oct 12, 2022 - Technology

Manchin presses Biden on U.S. output amid OPEC+ cut

Illustration of an American flag with oil barrels instead of stars

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Senate Energy Committee chair Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is urging President Biden to marshal executive powers to help boost U.S. oil production following the OPEC+ move to cut output.

Driving the news: Manchin, in a new letter, calls the OPEC+ move "reckless" and a revenue boost for Russian President Vladimir Putin's regime.

  • But he also argues Biden should not look to tap more barrels from authoritarian states.
  • "I am disheartened by reporting which suggests OPEC+’s actions may drive your administration to seek to unlock sanctioned oil production from Iran or Venezuela," Manchin writes.
  • The letter urges Biden to take "all actions within your authority" to boost U.S. output of various energy sources.

Why it matters: His letter underscores wider Capitol Hill pressure to respond to last week's OPEC+ decision, which rebuffed White House appeals to Saudi Arabia to avoid near-term output curbs.

Zoom in: It calls for steps including...

  • More drilling permits and other steps to enable companies to develop federal leases.
  • Expedited reviews for energy projects, including the Mountain Valley Pipeline, a gas project through West Virginia that is a Manchin priority.
  • Ensuring permitting agencies have enough staff.

The intrigue: Manchin's appeal echoes his legislation to mandate faster permitting for U.S. energy projects, which has stalled.

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