When President Joe Biden threatened "consequences" for OPEC cutting back oil production last summer, Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman shot back threats of "major economic consequences for Washington" if the United States retaliated, leaked classified documents show. Biden has yet to act on his threats.
In the months leading up to last year’s midterm election, the Biden administration pleaded with Saudi Arabia, the de-facto head of OPEC, a cartel of oil producing nations, to delay their decision to cut down production. The Saudis snubbed the Biden administration’s request, going ahead with their supply cut. Despite claiming he would respond to OPEC’s attempts to restrict the supply of oil, Biden has yet to act on his threats, possibly out of fear of Saudi retaliation.
The crown prince claimed "he will not deal with the U.S. administration anymore," according to internal documents obtained by the Washington Post.
Saudi Arabian leadership appears unafraid of Biden's threats of retaliation. Since the altercation outlined in the leaked documents, OPEC has further cut their oil production, inflating energy prices.
At the time, some characterized the move, done in conjunction with Russia, as an instance of the Saudis actively aiding America’s enemy abroad, despite the supposedly close ties between the two nations. Some observers believe America under Biden’s leadership is losing influence on the powerful middle eastern state. The current administration has seen Saudi Arabia deepen its economic and diplomatic ties with China, the chief rival of the United States. The Wall Street Journal wrote that such things could be "a sign of the geopolitical realignment" in the region.
Last summer, the average price of a gallon of gas in the United States was hovering around $4, about a dollar more per gallon than it was at the same point during Donald Trump’s presidency.