Amid a surge in the cost of gasoline, President Barack Obama said Tuesday he is calling on major oil producers such as Saudi Arabia to increase their oil supplies and lower prices, warning starkly that lack of relief would harm the global economy.
"We are in a lot of conversations with the major oil producers like Saudi Arabia to let them know that it's not going to be good for them if our economy is hobbled because of high oil prices," Obama said in an interview with a Detroit television station.
His remarks signaled a broad new appeal in the face of skyrocketing gasoline prices in the United States and they came on the same day that he reiterated a call for Congress to repeal oil industry tax breaks.
In interviews with WXYZ in Detroit and in WKTR in Hampton Roads, Va., Obama said the message to major oil producers like Saudi Arabia is that an economy that buckles because of high oil prices won't grow and won't be good for them or for the U.S.
Obama acknowledged disruptions in oil production because of the fighting in Libya. But he said other countries "need to increase supplies." He says they can make up the difference and "we're pushing them to do so."