Yellen on Acting to Lower Oil Prices: We’ll Watch Prices, Expect them to ‘Stabilize’

Yellen on Acting to Lower Oil Prices: We’ll Watch Prices, Expect them to ‘Stabilize’

On Monday’s broadcast of CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen responded to a question on what action the Biden administration could take to combat rising oil prices by stating that they’ll keep watching the situation, but they expect the prices to “stabilize.”

Co-host Sara Eisen asked, “I’m wondering how you’re thinking about the gas price move, a big jump in the month of August. Crude is back above $90 per barrel. The Saudis are extending the production cuts through the end of the year. Are you looking at taking any action on this front?”

Yellen answered, “Well, the president wants to make sure that gas prices remain affordable for Americans. Americans care a great deal about the price of gas. They’re still down $1.20 off their highs last summer, although they have gone up recently. China’s ended its pandemic lockdowns, and although Chinese growth is slower than expected, China coming back online and the continuation of the production cuts by Saudi Arabia has lifted oil prices somewhat. We’re monitoring the situation very closely. The president has taken action over the last year. Certainly, the releases of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve have been important in holding down oil prices and we’ll continue to monitor that closely.”

Eisen then said, “I just wonder how much space you have and what you would potentially do if — because we are losing progress on this front with oil prices rising.”

Yellen responded, “Well, my expectation is that they will stabilize. But we’ll just keep an eye on it.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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