Yergin puzzled by Biden’s “indifference” to the U.S. oil industry

By David Wethe and Alix Steel on 11/8/2021

HOUSTON (Bloomberg) --While President Joe Biden has been “jaw-boning” OPEC nations to pump more crude, the rest of the world finds it odd that the leader of the top oil producer isn’t paying more attention to domestic shale, said oil historian Daniel Yergin.

“There’s a basic antagonism and lack of interest -- indifference -- to the industry, although it has 10.5 million people work in it,” Yergin, vice chairman of IHS Markit Ltd., said in a Bloomberg Television interview on Monday. “The rest of the world is saying this is really strange.”

As Biden considers tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to stem a surge in gasoline prices, Yergin said there isn’t much the White House can do. Talk of releasing crude from the reserve always comes up anytime gasoline prices are high, he said.

“President Biden has been in Washington a long time and knows that high gasoline prices are not good for incumbents,” Yergin said. “They’re obviously worried about 2022 and people do vote their wallets.”

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