A decision by President Joe Biden calling on the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies to increase oil production in response to rising gas prices should be reversed, according to U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and several Republican colleagues. 

“It is astonishing that your administration is now seeking assistance from an international oil cartel when America has sufficient domestic supply and reserves to increase output, which would reduce gasoline prices,” wrote Sen. Capito in an Aug. 16 letter sent to President Biden that was also signed by lawmakers including U.S. Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Steve Daines (R-MT), John Hoeven (R-ND), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Roger Wicker (R-MS), and Todd Young (R-IN).

The senators pointed out that in July, gasoline prices reached a seven-year high and are now 40 percent higher than they were on Jan. 1, according to their letter. 

“It is no surprise how we got here,” they wrote. “Your administration’s domestic oil and gas development policies are hurting American consumers and workers, are contrary to an “America First” energy agenda, and reinforce a reliance on foreign oil.”

Sen. Capito and her colleagues chastised the president’s policies, which they said coupled with inflation are increasing the price of gasoline and do not serve American interests. “In fact, these policies threaten our energy and national security by making us more reliant on foreign nations for our energy needs,” the senators wrote.

They urged the Biden administration to revise its regulatory agenda and legislative priorities as they relate to domestic oil and gas development. 

“The best and most effective way to reduce the cost of gasoline at the pump is to unleash clean, affordable and reliable American energy,” the lawmakers wrote.