OpeOluwani Akintayo, with agency report
25 May 2018, Sweetcrude, Lagos – Following rising oil prices as a result of cuts by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, and its partners, U.S. Senate Democrats have urged President Donald Trump to talk the group into taking steps to achieve lower oil prices, saying that millions of Americans will see tax cut proceeds canceled out by higher fuel costs.
Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer held a news conference at a Capitol Hill Exxon station to criticize Trump for not doing more to lower fuel costs, according to Reuters.
He said gasoline prices had jumped 25 percent since Trump took office in January 2017.
Schumer said Trump’s decision to withdraw from the multinational Iran nuclear deal was a factor in increasing gas prices.
He also criticised the administration for planning to roll back fuel economy standards, for not doing enough to encourage the use of ethanol and for not pushing major oil-producing states.
“It’s time for this president to stand up to OPEC,” Schumer said.
“He’s palling around with the Saudis and the UAE and all these other oil-rich countries. Why doesn’t he ask them to lower their prices?” Schumer said, adding that Trump “should buck his oil industry buddies.”
A letter from Schumer and other Democrats urged Trump to send Energy Secretary Rick Perry to a June 22 OPEC meeting in Vienna to raise the oil prices issue.
Senator Lisa Murkowski, a Republican who chairs the Energy Committee, said she agreed “OPEC’s supply restrictions are driving prices higher and should be addressed, but I was stunned to hear my colleagues encouraging more production from the likes of Iran and Saudi Arabia, rather than right here in America.”