OPEC and Russia may raise oil output under pressure from Trump

OPEC and Russia may raise oil output under pressure from Trump
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Two of the world's leading oil producers are considering increasing their daily output following pressure from President TrumpDonald John TrumpWatergate prosecutor says that Sondland testimony was 'tipping point' for Trump In private moment with Trump, Justice Kennedy pushed for Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination: book Obama: 'Everybody needs to chill out' about differences between 2020 candidates MORE, according to a Reuters report.

Russia and Saudia Arabia are reportedly discussing raising the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) output by 1 million barrels a day, a change that would ease rising prices at the pump for Americans.

Energy ministers for both countries said Friday they are considering the increase in production to ease worries about supply adequacy — with Saudi Arabia’s Khalid al-Falih adding that a move would be gradual, Reuters reports.

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The move comes after a tweet from Trump last month that said OPEC was artificially boosting oil prices by limiting outputs.

"Looks like OPEC is at it again. With record amounts of Oil all over the place, including the fully loaded ships at sea, Oil prices are artificially Very High! No good and will not be accepted!," Trump tweeted in April. 

Oil prices momentarily dropped in the U.S. following Trump's message.

Prices are the highest they have been since late 2014 when gas was $100 a barrel. The price of oil currently sits at $80.50 a barrel.

Earlier this week leading Senate Democrats called on the president to lead talks with Russia and OPEC on increasing production to help Americans as they enter the summer season. 

Sens. Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTrump signs short-term spending bill to avert shutdown Senators urge Trump to suspend Huawei license approvals Tensions rise in Senate's legislative 'graveyard' MORE (D-N.Y.), Maria CantwellMaria Elaine CantwellSenators grill safety regulator over self-driving cars Hillicon Valley: Commerce extends Huawei waiver | Senate Dems unveil privacy bill priorities | House funding measure extends surveillance program | Trump to tour Apple factory | GOP bill would restrict US data going to China Senate Democrats unveil priorities for federal privacy bill MORE (D-Wash.), Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezSenate passes legislation supporting Hong Kong protesters Graham blocks resolution recognizing Armenian genocide after Erdoğan meeting Trump encounters GOP resistance to investigating Hunter Biden MORE (D-N.J.), and Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeySenators grill safety regulator over self-driving cars Hillicon Valley: Twitter shares more details on political ad rules | Supreme Court takes up Google-Oracle fight | Pentagon chief defends Microsoft cloud contract House, Senate announce agreement on anti-robocall bill MORE (D-Mass.) on Wednesday wrote a letter to Trump urging him to discuss options with the oil-producing countries.

"It's time for this president to stand up to OPEC on behalf of the forgotten man and woman he promised to remember," Schumer said at a press event prior to sending the letter. "He’s palling around with Saudis and UAE and other oil-rich countries, why doesn’t he ask them to lower their prices? It's time for the president to buck his oil executive buddies."

The senators pointed to Trump's decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal and to the passing of the GOP Tax bill as reasons for soaring prices at the pump.

"Gas prices have gone up 25 percent since the tax law went into effect — as families are facing three times the cost these corporations have gotten some of the largest tax breaks in our history," Cantwell said at the presser. "Seven of the biggest oil companies got $13 billion in new stock buybacks, while American consumers are facing $3 to 4 dollar gas prices in near future. That’s sticker shock and what they are seeing could get worse."