Oil companies hit back after Biden blamed surging gas prices on their profit ‘greed’

OPINION: This article contains commentary which may reflect the author's opinion

This week, Joe Biden, going for his best Venezuelan dictator look, attacked American oil companies, blaming them on top of Putin for historic high gas prices.

The Manchurian candidate president wrote a letter to the top companies, issuing an ultimatum.

In the letter, Biden wrote, “There is no question that Vladimir Putin is principally responsible for the intense financial pain the American people and their families are bearing. But amid a war that has raised gasoline prices more than $1.70 per gallon, historically high refinery profit margins are worsening that pain.”

“My administration is prepared to use all reasonable and appropriate federal government tools and emergency authorities to increase refinery capacity and output in the near term, and to ensure that every region of this country is appropriately supplied,” Biden continued.

“The lack of refining capacity — and resulting unprecedented refinery profit margins — are blunting the impact of the historic actions my Administration has taken to address Vladimir Putin’s Price Hike and are driving up costs for consumers,” Biden declared before demanding, “Your companies need to work with my Administration.”

According to the Western Journal, Biden’s letter also stated:

“I have directed the Secretary of Energy to convene an emergency meeting on this topic,” Biden wrote, telling the companies he wanted “concrete ideas” for solving the crisis, as well as explanations of why refining capacity has been cut over the past two years.

“I understand that many factors contributed to the business decisions to reduce refinery capacity, which occurred before I took office,” he wrote.

“But at a time of war, refinery profit margins well above normal being passed directly onto American families are not acceptable.”

The companies aren’t taking Biden’s demands lying down.

The Daily Mail reported:

Oil companies have hit back against Joe Biden after the president accused them of intentionally exacerbating the strain on Americans’ pocketbooks after the average price of gas per gallon surpassed $5.00.

Exxon and Chevron said the Biden administration could be doing more to address the surging oil prices, accusing the president of ‘imposing obstacles to our industry to deliver energy resources’.

‘We understand the significant concerns around higher fuel prices currently faced by consumers around the country, and the world,’ Chevron said in a statement.

‘We share these concerns, and expect the Administration’s approach to energy policy will start to better reflect the importance of addressing them.’

According to Chevron, the Biden administration has stated that it will ‘impose obstacles to our industry delivering energy resources the world needs’.

Exxon suggested short- and long-term solutions for rising oil prices, noting that emergency measures ‘such as waivers of Jones Act provisions and some fuel specifications to increase supplies’ were options that could be taken immediately.

In the long run, the plan suggested ‘streamlined regulatory approval and support for infrastructure such as pipelines’.

Exxon announced that it has added 250,000 barrels a day to its refining capacity to process US light crude in response to high oil prices. Chevron said it will increase output from the Permian Basin by 15 percent this year.

As a ‘patriotic duty,’ refiners must increase supplies and cut costs for consumers, said White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre.

‘We are calling on them to do the right thing, to be patriots here,’ she said to reporters.

The Mail continued:

Energy companies are enjoying bumper profits since the invasion, which added to a supply squeeze driving crude prices above $100 a barrel. Fuel demand has remained robust despite record-high gasoline prices.

U.S. refining capacity peaked in April 2020 at just under 19 million barrels per day (bpd), when prices tanked during the pandemic and refiners shut several unprofitable facilities. As of March, refining capacity was 17.9 million bpd, but there have been other closures announced since then.

U.S. refiners are running at near-peak levels to process fuel – currently at 94% of capacity. They say there is little they can do to quickly satisfy Biden’s demands.

‘Our refineries are running full out,’ Bruce Niemeyer, corporate vice president of strategy and sustainability at Chevron, said on the sidelines of a Reuters energy transition conference on Tuesday, before the letter was made public.

Shell is ‘producing at capacity’ and looking at options to increase oil and gasoline production, a spokesperson said.

Todd Spitler, a spokesman for Exxon, confirmed that the oil company had invested in the expansion of its refining capability by 250,000 bpd, the equivalent of a mid-sized refinery.

According to Spitler, the government could, in the short-term, lift provisions in the Jones Act that compel domestic shippers to use federally-flagged vessels with unionized crews or waive fuel regulations.

Spitler also said that over the past five years, the top American producer has invested more than $50 billion in U.S. oil production. This resulted in a nearly 50% increase.

Florida Governor Ron Desantis blasted the Biden administration over gas prices yesterday.

In a tweet, Desantis stated:

“Releasing barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserves is a political stunt that has not made a dent on gas prices. We need real energy policy solutions from the Biden Administration so Americans can stop paying $5 for a gallon of gas.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Latest from Blog

Send this to a friend