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Biden says he worries that cutting oil production too fast will hurt working people

President Biden spent three days in Rome talking to world leaders before and during the G-20. He held a formal press conference before heading to the UN climate summit in Glasgow.
Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said on Sunday that the world can’t immediately stop using oil and said OPEC and Russia need to pump more of it, even as he pushes the world to pledge to cut climate-changing carbon emissions at the Glasgow climate summit this week.

After three days of meeting with world leaders in Rome, where he attended the G-20 summit, Biden said he is worried that surging energy costs are hurting working class families.

“On the surface it seems like an irony,” Biden said of simultaneously calling on major oil producers to pump more as he heads to the COP26 climate change summit. “But the truth of the matter is … everyone knows that idea that we’re going to be able to move to renewable energy overnight … it’s just not rational,” he said.

Biden said the idea that Russia, Saudi Arabia and other producers are holding back to boost prices “is not right.” With gas prices averaging $3.40 a gallon in the US, according to AAA, Biden said families are feeling it.

“It has profound impact on working class families just to get back and forth to work,” Biden said. He talked about the issue with other major oil-consuming countries at the G-20, but told reporters he was reluctant to reveal any of their plans to spur producers to pump more.

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