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 TrumpFed saw risks to US economy fading before coronavirus spread quickened Pro-Trump super PAC hits Biden with new Spanish-language ad in Nevada Britain announces immigration policy barring unskilled migrants 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 SchumerBarr to testify before House Judiciary panel Graham won't call Barr to testify over Roger Stone sentencing recommendation Roger Stone witness alleges Trump targeted prosecutors in 'vile smear job' MORE (D-N.Y.), Maria CantwellMaria Elaine CantwellThree lessons from BIPA for data privacy legislation Swing votes steal spotlight in marathon Trump impeachment Q&A Hillicon Valley: UK allows Huawei to build 5G in blow to Trump | Lawmakers warn decision threatens intel sharing | Work on privacy bill inches forward | Facebook restricts travel to China amid virus MORE (D-Wash.), Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezMenendez calls for 'Marie Yovanovitch bill' to protect foreign service employees Senators condemn UN 'blacklisting' of US companies in Israeli settlements Media's selective outrage exposed in McSally-Raju kerfuffle MORE (D-N.J.), and Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyKennedy, Markey spar over experience in first Senate primary debate The Hill's Campaign Report: Bloomberg to face off with rivals at Nevada debate Massachusetts Democrats question deployment of Border Patrol teams to sanctuary cities 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."