Iran to Trump: Your tweets are driving up oil prices

Iran to Trump: Your tweets are driving up oil prices

The U.S. average for a gallon of regular unleaded was $2.86 as of Thursday, with Louisiana below that rate at almost $2.58, according to the American Automobile Association. Jimmy Carter struggled with high gas prices, which had doubled since the Iranian revolution.

I've been over this on countless occasions since the President first implored OPEC to engineer lower prices back in April.

The average cost of gasoline has risen nearly 60 percent from a cyclical low of $1.87 a gallon in February 2016 to $2.97 last month. "Gas prices are at insane levels - fire Obama!" he tweeted on October 12, 2012.

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That wasn't the case when Obama negotiated with Iran. Obama accepted yearly reductions of 20 percent as "significant" enough to ramp up pressure on Iran.

"Donald Trump's call on other countries to stop buying crude oil from Iran and putting European companies under pressure with Nigeria and Libya being crisis-stricken, Venezuela's crude oil output having plunged and Saudi Arabia's consumption increasing due to summer, would be a kind of self-harm for the U.S. as it would lead to dramatic price hikes in the oil market", Ardebili said.

Trump administration officials have been visiting other nations to press them to halt oil purchases altogether.

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Chinese stocks fell sharply on Tuesday, with equity markets in Asia near nine-month lows as investors fear the Sino-U.S. trade row could derail a rare period of synchronized global growth.

By comparison, the rise in oil prices since the start of 2016 is the equivalent of a tax increase of nearly $1.6 trillion over the next decade. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries controls a third of production while the world's biggest consumer can, at the order of the president, release part of the 660 million barrels of crude held as a strategic reserve.

But, so far, that hasn't lowered oil prices, largely because of the turmoil caused by Venezuelan and Iranian oil sectors, as well Libya pulling hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil out of the market as a result of upheaval there. But oil experts say that OPEC is already close to its maximum capacity. Riyadh has the spare capacity to help meet any additional demand in the market, but has stopped short of saying it will immediately start adding the full two million barrels per day. "It's nearly an American tradition", Halff said.

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But most of those states are solidly Republican and likely to vote Trump's party at the mid-term congressional elections in 2018. "Is it about asking for oil or about displaying the appearance of toughness for electoral purposes for domestic audiences?"

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