Biden White House jammed on gas prices
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fairly difficult
A request for more oil production came just two days after the UN's alarming climate report.
The Biden White House increasingly views rising gasoline prices as a source of potential political peril — and is now asking some of the world's biggest oil producers to pump more oil.

Why it matters: This trend, combined with a fragile economic recovery threatened by the Delta variant of the coronavirus, and inflation beginning to bite consumers, could threaten the administration's ambitious congressional agenda for late summer and early fall.

Driving the news: The administration made two revealing moves on gas prices Tuesday morning.

One was to instruct the Federal Trade Commission to investigate "market manipulation or anti-competitive practices" influencing the retail price of gasoline.

The other was the issuance of a memo from national security adviser Jake Sullivan, criticizing the recent decision from OPEC+ countries to increase production by 400,000 barrels a day monthly through December as "simply not enough" to avoid putting the international economic recovery at risk.

The big picture: Urging OPEC+ to produce more crude oil is, at least on the surface, incongruent with Biden's climate agenda of moving the country away from a dependence on fossil fuels. It was also a particularly dissonant move coming just two days after the U.N. IPCC issued its starkest warnings yet of the repercussions of human-caused global warming.

Between the lines: The FTC letter and Sullivan memo came the same day that the White House National Climate Task Force met to discuss the IPCC report and overall progress on the president's agenda…
Andrew Freedman
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