The incoming Bush administration warned on Friday that an oil production cut by OPEC next week would lead to higher energy prices for U.S. consumers. OPEC members will gather Jan. 17 in Vienna, where they are expected to agree to a roughly 1.5 million barrel-per-day reduction in the cartel's oil production levels.
"Anything that lessens (oil) supply at a time of high demand means higher prices for American consumers," a Bush transition spokesman said.
The spokesman continued that OPEC's move to cut output is "just another reminder of how important it is for America to develop its energy resources
so we're not going to be vulnerable to foreign actions."
President-elect George Bush has made increasing domestic oil production a top priority. U.S. oil output
is at its lowest level in half a century and foreign oil imports account for about 55 percent of domestic petroleum supplies.
Low petroleum supplies have led to high prices for crude oil, gasoline and heating oil.
"Part of solving the entire energy crisis our nation is facing is to increase supply," the spokesman said.
Energy Secretary Bill Richardson is traveling to Europe and the Middle East this weekend to lobby six OPEC members not to make sharp cuts in oil production levels.