Drilling, oil wells in southern Kuwait along the Saudi border. Photo: Dominique BERBAIN / Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

The U.S. government has asked Saudi Arabia and other OPEC countries to increase oil production, according to Bloomberg.

Why it's happening: The Trump administration is likely reacting to the fact that gasoline prices just spiked to their highest level in the U.S. in more than three years and they are likely concerned about potential political backlash, Axios' Amy Harder notes.

Why the prices might be spiking in the first place: The U.S. announced it would be withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal, which is curtailing crude supplies and which is likely driving the U.S. request. It highlights the delicate politics of the White House moves to punish Iran's energy sector with renewed sanctions, Axios’ Ben Geman notes.

Don't forget:

  • Venezuela. Venezuelan output has been declining due to instability and an economic crisis there, driving prices up.
  • OPEC has been operating under an oil cut production agreement, which has been affecting prices, too. OPEC will have a chance to review this agreement later this month.

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Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 20,755,406 — Total deaths: 752,225— Total recoveries: 12,917,934Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 5,246,760 — Total deaths: 167,052 — Total recoveries: 1,774,648 — Total tests: 64,831,306Map.
  3. Politics: House Democrats to investigate scientist leading "Operation Warp Speed" vaccine projectMcConnell announces Senate will not hold votes until Sept. 8 unless stimulus deal is reached.
  4. 2020: Biden calls for 3-month national mask mandateBiden and Harris to receive coronavirus briefings 4 times a week.
  5. States: Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp to drop lawsuit over Atlanta's mask mandate.
  6. Business: Why the CARES Act makes 2020 the best year for companies to lose money.
  7. Public health: Fauci's guidance on pre-vaccine coronavirus treatments Cases are falling, but don't get too comfortable.

Trump says he intends to give RNC speech on White House lawn

President Trump speaking to reporters on South Lawn in July. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

President Trump told the New York Post on Thursday that he plans to deliver his Republican National Convention speech from the White House lawn, despite bipartisan criticism of the optics and legality of the location.

Why it matters: Previous presidents avoided blurring staged campaign-style events — like party conventions — with official business of governing on the White House premises, per Politico.

Fauci's guidance on pre-vaccine coronavirus treatments

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Antibody drugs and various medicine cocktails against the coronavirus are progressing and may provide some relief before vaccines.

The big picture: Everyone wants to know how and when they can return to "normal" life, as vaccines are not expected to be ready for most Americans for at least a year. Two therapies are known to be helpful, and more could be announced by late September, NIAID Director Anthony Fauci tells Axios.