Top aide interrupts after mic catches Macron telling Biden ‘game-changing’ news about oil

French President Emmanuel Macron cornered President Joe Biden in a hot mic moment Monday that worsened concerns about an escalation of the energy crisis only to have the leader of the free world seemingly fail to “appreciate the gravity” of his message.

Members of the G7 nations gathered for a summit Monday to discuss matters pertaining to rising energy costs and NATO’s response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Gathering in member nation Germany, representatives of the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Italy and Japan convened for the three-day summit when Macron offered some gravely concerning news to Biden considering his refusal to ramp up domestic oil production.

In the video, Macron can be seen interrupting the president in discussion with National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan as they are walking near the press. “I had a call with MBZ,” the French leader begins, referencing United Arab Emirates President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan (MBZ).

“He told me two things,” Macron went on. “One, I’m at a maximum, maximum [production capacity]– what he claims… Second, according to MBZ, the Saudis can increase a little bit, by 150 or a little bit more, and they don’t have huge capacities at least before six months’ time.”

“The very last one is about what we do on the Russian oil,” he attempted to continue before Sullivan interceded and said, “Careful. Maybe we should just step inside … because of the cameras.”

In a lengthy thread on Twitter, author Michael Shellenberger delved into the implications of the exchange between the world leaders and first emphasized, “Biden was counting on Arab nations to produce more oil,” before suggesting, “It appears to be a direct appeal to Biden to produce more oil.”

According to the author, “This is a game-changing revelation since Biden was counting on Saudi Arabia & UAE. They were the only two OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) nations perceived to have spare capacity.”

The current production was reported as 3.168 million barrels per day (bpd). According to Reuters, their capacity is 3.4 million and they have been working to increase it to 4 million. By comparison, Saudi Arabia produces roughly 10.5 million bpd with a capacity somewhere between 12-12.5 million bpd.

Consumers in Europe utilized as much as 2 million bpd of crude oil imported from Russia and 2 million bpd of refined products prior to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Shellenberger went on to state, “Macron’s revelation means that it’s up to the U.S. to produce more oil, and soon, or the energy crisis will get much worse.”

Energy Minister Suhail bin Mohammed Al Mazrouei confirmed, “In light of recent media reports, I would like to clarify that the UAE is producing near to our maximum production capacity based on its current OPEC+ production baseline (3,168 mbopd) which UAE is committed by until the end of the agreement.”

“Biden’s refusal to expand oil and gas production in the US in the midst of the worst energy crisis in 50 years was insane *before* Macron’s revelation. Now if Biden doesn’t act, he is effectively renouncing America’s standing as the leader of the free world,” the author argued after he had previously indicated the president, “is considering a total ban on new offshore oil & gas drilling, 6 days after delaying new on-shore O&G drilling, and 1 month after killing a 1M acre O&G lease sale in Alaska.”

“It’s as insane as it looks,” he added.

Shellenberger went on to suggest that Biden’s demeanor made it unclear if the president “appreciated the gravity” of what he was told before he noted that “Macron is a canny politician” and was deliberate in catching his American counterpart on a hot mic “perhaps as a way to pressure Biden to finally act.”

Though Biden seemed unclear about how to respond to the news, oil prices rose by nearly 2% to clear $115 per barrel again. Furthermore, as markets continue to worsen, Biden’s lackluster gas tax holiday proposal would barely make a dent in the burden being foisted upon the average American.


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