Wednesday, August 17

Biden Pushes G-20 to Improve Energy Supplies to Address Crunch

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(Bloomberg) — US President Joe Biden said global energy markets needed to be well-supplied to avoid undermining the post-pandemic economic recovery as he addressed leaders world leaders at the Group of Twenty summit in Rome.

Biden said Saturday that energy markets needed to be balanced and competitive, according to a senior administration official describing the private remarks on the condition of anonymity.

Another US official said Friday that Biden would use the meeting to ask energy-producing countries in the gathering of the world’s 20 largest economies to boost production.

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But that official cautioned that the discussion was expected to be high level and not include specific asks on production by quantitative measurements like barrels per day or percentage of existing supply. Nor did Biden plan to call out OPEC despite concerns that the oil cartel in recent months has failed to hit production targets.

Instead, the president would simply encourage major energy producers with spare capacity to use it, the official said.

Surging oil and gas prices have fanned concern about inflation and energy shortages, and US officials have said they are concerned that countries may be using energy supplies as a political weapon.

The push by Biden comes shortly before the US president heads to Glasgow for an international summit on combating climate change. But his aides have argued their push for increased energy supply is not incompatible with the goals of that summit.

“This is not a light switch,” White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters on Thursday. “We’re not flipping off all use of fossil fuels in our economy overnight. We still have need for those fossil fuels during the transition period to make sure that our economy is working, jobs are being created, working families have their homes heated at night, and so forth.”

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