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Hope that Biden’s trip to Saudi Arabia will cut US gas costs is ‘unrealistic’

CHICAGO: President Joe Biden’s expectations of lowering U.S. gas prices with his impending trip to Saudi Arabia are unrealistic as energy costs are determined by global market and political variables, experts say .

Gasoline prices at the pump have doubled in the past four months and weakened the US economy, hurting Biden who risks losing control of the US House and Senate in the US midterm elections. November 8.

Former Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs David Schenker and Saudi analyst and researcher Salman Al-Ansari have both said that simply increasing oil production, as many hope, will not will not reduce costs due to industry limitations on refining capacity and European geolocation. political factors.

“When President Biden took office, gas was $2 a gallon. It’s now $5 a gallon on the East Coast. He really wants Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf partners, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and others (including) Qatar to increase their production to bring down the price of oil. There are limits in terms of capacity, increase and production. But also really problems with our refining capacity. It’s at the top of his agenda,” Schenker said.

“I think you get a few hundred thousand barrels more, maybe 150. But even if you have a million barrels or 2 million barrels in the market, I think it’s important for American consumers to know that might not bring in much. a difference for us because this oil does not reach us. It goes to the world market. In addition if you listen to the Saudis, and what I heard when I was in Riyadh and Dhahran, I went to Aramco my last trip, a month and a half ago in Saudi, they tell you… we can do a little more but the production is not the problem. The problem is refining capacity.

Al-Ansari agreed, saying: “Some people think that Saudi Arabia would produce more oil etc., but I don’t think that will happen in a dramatic way because Saudi Arabia is committed to the agreements of the OPEC+.”

“And let’s not forget that the problems of high energy prices are not related to the lack of oil supply but rather the effect of geopolitical tensions in Europe and the fact that Russia provides 30% of the oil and 40% of gas demand in Europe.”

Schenker said Biden hopes to “reset” the relationship with Saudi Arabia that he harshly criticized during his campaign and in the first 18 months of his presidency.

“Biden is also trying to reset the relationship with Saudi Arabia. (There was) essentially a deliberate scuttling of the relationship with Saudi Arabia,” Schenker said.

Al-Ansari explained that the Saudi-American relationship has been productive for both countries since it began 76 years ago during a meeting between President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and King Abdul Aziz ibn Saud.

“The relationship has existed for over 76 years or almost eight decades. I would quote the Secretary of the State Department, Mr. Blinken, and he said that the US-Saudi relationship is important and bigger than any individual. I think both parties understand the importance of this mutual and beneficial relationship. Saudi Arabia is considered the largest trading partner of the United States in the Middle East,” Al-Ansari said.

“When it comes to Saudi Arabia, the United States is considered the second (largest trading partner). And also for the United States globally, Saudi Arabia is considered (its) number 12 largest trading partner … So we are talking about a very important relationship. Let’s not forget that Saudi Arabia is the center and heart of the Arab and Muslim world. You can’t basically solve any problem in the world Arab or Muslim without involving Saudi Arabia, and Saudi Arabia has been heavily involved since the beginning of the relationship.

Al-Ansari added that Saudi Arabia has been a reliable partner for the United States and the West, not only in tempering dramatic swings in oil prices, but also in dealing with rising extremism.

“There are actually three pillars of the Saudi-American initiative and the Saudi-American partnership that have happened throughout history. The first was to sell oil (at) cheap prices to the United States. United and it is very essential and important for the United States to become what it has become,” Al-Ansari said.

“And the second was (to) outwit Marxist, socialist and communist doctrine in the Middle East and around the world. And Saudi Arabia worked with the United States to fight communism. And the third pillar was to fight terrorism. And let’s not forget the fact that Saudi Arabia has been the biggest victim and has been the target of most terrorist attacks by Al-Qaeda and ISIS. Saudi Arabia has received more than 60 terrorist attacks from Al-Qaeda and more than 35 terrorist attacks from Daesh, ISIS; and Saudi Arabia worked with the United States to wipe out ISIS and Al-Qaeda, also in Yemen and in so many different places like Iraq and Syria.

During the radio interview, Schenker and Al-Ansari said the confrontation with Iran is a key issue for Biden to address. They also said they did not expect any major breakthrough in the Israeli-Palestinian stalemate.

The Ray Hanania Show airs live every Wednesday at 5:00 p.m. EST on WNZK AM 690 radio in Greater Detroit, including parts of Ohio, and WDMV AM 700 radio in Washington DC, including parts of Virginia and Maryland. The show reairs Thursdays at 7 a.m. in Detroit on WNZK AM 690 and in Chicago at 12 p.m. on WNWI AM 1080.

You can listen to the radio show’s podcast by visiting ArabNews.com/rayradioshow.

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