Yesterday's decision by OPEC+, the 24-nation oil cartel, to reduce oil production by 2 million barrels a day was a stunning rebuke to the Biden administration, which lobbied hard to prevent oil production cuts that could cause gas prices to soar in the months ahead.
The OPEC+ coalition said it made this move to address uncertainty in the global economy and oil market outlooks.
A more straightforward explanation for the production cut, which was much higher than experts expected, is to address falling oil prices of the last few months.
That this Saudi-led group of oil-producing nations would decide to cut production before an important American election likely was no coincidence.
They knew the effect it could have on the U.S. economy and the November election.
Saudi Arabia is clearly telegraphing its disregard for, and displeasure, with the Biden administration by supporting such a deep production cut five weeks before the 2022 U.S. midterm elections.
Thus, this action shows a complete lack of respect for the current president and his administration.
President Joe Biden traveled to Saudi Arabia (in mid-July of this year) in an attempt to repair the damage done to U.S.-Saudi relations by his insults of the kingdom and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, during the presidential campaign and the first few months of his administration. During that trip, Biden also hoped he could convince the Saudis and other OPEC+ countries to increase oil production.
The trip didn't go well.
Mr. Biden told the press that while in Saudi Arabia, he scolded the crown prince over the 2018 killing of Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
The president also ignored concerns the Saudis and other Gulf states voiced about U.S. efforts to strike a new nuclear deal with Iran.
An agreement which will be much worse than the July 14, 2015 accord: the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), negotiated by the Obama administration.
U.S.-Saudi relations deteriorated following the president's Riyadh trip.
The outline of a new nuclear agreement with Iran worsened significantly in August of this year; it included providing Tehran with $1 trillion in sanctions relief by 2030.
Although Iran halted talks on this draft on Sept. 1, there are signs of rekindled activity, possibly because Iranian leaders want to change the subject from the nationwide protests and unrest in the country due to the death of Mahsa Amini, an Iranian woman who died after Iranian morality police beat her.
Her crime? Allegedly wearing a headscarf in an "improper" manner.
Saudi Arabia and other OPEC+ states also are irritated that the Biden administration has been manipulating oil prices for political purposes, doing so by dumping oil into the U.S. market from America's Strategic Petroleum Reserve, which is only supposed to be tapped for true emergencies.
This action has affected the global oil market, and also likely motivated the OPEC+ decision to reduce oil output.
To make this worse, Team Biden is now considering barring exports of U.S. energy to dampen prices domestically, a move that could spark an energy trade war with Saudi Arabia — as well as other oil-producing countries.
The OPEC+ decision to cut oil production just before an important American election is another indication of the national security incompetence of the Biden administration, and the perceived weakness of President Biden's performances on the global stage.
It goes without saying that neither Saudi Arabia nor any other U.S. ally would have so blatantly snubbed the United States in this way if we had a strong and decisive commander in chief occupying the Oval Office, one who would have made them pay a price for their action.
Instead — hardworking Americans will pay the price at the gas pump for the foreseeable future.
Fred Fleitz is a Newsmax TV Contributor and vice-chair of the America First Policy Institute Center for American Security. He previously served as National Security Council Chief of staff, CIA analyst, and as a member of the House Intelligence Committee staff. Read more reports from Fred Fleitz — Click Here Now.
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.