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Falling gas prices mean more than OPEC numbers


Washington — President Joe Biden traveled to Saudi Arabia last month on the possibility that he could get some additional oil production out of OPEC+ in coming weeks, but the cartel and other nations announced a scant increase Wednesday.

The White House responded by stressing that what matters is the steady decline in oil and gasoline prices from summer highs, not the actions taken by OPEC+ to pump an additional 100,000 barrels of oil in September. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre noted that the decline began June 14, the day the administration disclosed plans for Biden’s trip to Israel and Saudi Arabia.

“The fact of the matter is that oil and gas prices are coming down,” Jean-Pierre told reporters at her briefing. “The moment he announced his trip we saw gas prices and oil prices coming down.”

While there may be a correlation, it is unclear whether the announced trip caused prices to decline. Oil prices can be determined by a wide range of factors including changes in supply, the pace of economic growth, geopolitical events and extreme weather.

Behind Jean-Pierre in the briefing room was a blue chart that showed a 17% drop in average U.S. gas costs since prices peaked at about $5 a gallon. AAA puts the current national average at $4.16 a gallon. Crude oil prices fell Wednesday to just below $91 a barrel, down from more than $120 in early June.



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