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CNN Today

Richardson: 'The International Community Benefits From Stable Oil Prices, Not High Oil Prices'

Aired February 23, 2000 - 1:12 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: You've no doubt noticed that the gas pump prices are up drastically. Hundreds of truckers staged a protest in Washington yesterday. Later this week, Energy Secretary Bill Richardson expects to talk with OPEC leaders about reducing those prices by increasing projection.

Secretary Richardson joins us on the line now from Cairo.

How do you plan to talk these OPEC members and non-OPEC members to increase production, Mr. Secretary?

BILL RICHARDSON, U.S. SECRETARY OF ENERGY: Well, I'll be heading to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia in the next couple of days, and my objective is just to just a long-standing American position, and that is that the markets should dictate prices, that high oil prices and low oil prices are in nobody's interest, that it's important than there not be such volatility in oil prices.

And these are our friends. I'm not going to go to pressure or dictate; I'm just going to explain our position, which is well-known, the president stated in his news conference recently.

The international community benefits from stable oil prices, not high oil prices. I've just been in Egypt, and the Egyptians agree that prices are too high, the European community, Japan. So I think the responsible thing for the international community to do is to have these stable oil prices. And I'm going to do my best, and I'm going to be meeting with the Kuwaitis and the Saudi in the next two days.

WATERS: All right, Secretary Bill Richardson, secretary of Energy, in Cairo on his way to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

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