Biden bullies oil companies over ‘excessive’ profits

President Biden on Wednesday stepped up his rhetoric against oil companies, telling seven major refiners that their profit margins were “above normal” and demanded that they explain themselves to the White House.

“[A]In times of war, it is unacceptable for the refinery’s profit margins to be transferred more directly than usual to American families, “Biden wrote in a letter to Darren Woods, CEO of Exxon Mobil.

Similar letters were sent to the heads of Chevron, Shell, Philips 66, BP, Marathon and Valero.

“Your companies need to work with my management to come up with solid, near-term solutions that address the crisis and respect the critical equality of energy workers and fence-connected communities,” the president said. He added in a letter to Woods before meeting with. For details on “Any reduction in your refining capacity from 2020 onwards and any concrete ideas that will address immediate inventory, price, and refining capacity issues in the coming months – including getting better products to market.” Transportation measures. “

President Biden said Exxon had “made more money than God this year.”
Susan Walsh / AP

Biden added: “My administration is committed to using all reasonable and appropriate federal government tools and emergency authorities to increase the refinery’s capacity and productivity in the near term, and to ensure that this country Every area should be properly supplied. “

The president has expressed growing frustration with the petroleum industry in recent days as the average price of a gallon of gas across the country is over $ 5. In a speech at the Port of Los Angeles last week, Biden said Exxon had “made more money than God this year” before adding: “Exon, start investing and start paying your taxes.”

Record high pump prices, in addition to the highest annual inflation rate in more than 40 years, have created a serious political climate for Biden and Democrats ahead of the midterm elections.

In response, Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, proposed an additional 21% tax on oil and gas companies with more than $ 1 billion in annual revenue.

While acknowledging the shock of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to the world oil market, the White House has also accused oil companies of failing to drill on leasing sites approved by the federal government. Refusing to supply artificially.

On Tuesday, the American Petroleum Institute Sent a letter The administration outlined 10 steps it would take to increase Biden’s supply – including the resumption of oil and gas lease sales, which the White House canceled last month.

Gas prices.
“Your companies need to work with my management to come up with concrete, near-term solutions to the crisis,” Biden wrote in a letter to oil companies.
Lucy Nicholson / Reuters
Pump jacks operate in front of the drilling rig in the oil field.
The American Petroleum Institute responded by asking the Biden administration to resume sales of oil and gas leases, which were canceled by the White House last month.
Nick Oxford / Reuters

In response to Wyden’s tax proposal, the API warned that “imposing new taxes on our industry would do the exact opposite and discourage investment only when it is most needed.”

Biden’s letter came after the Department of Energy announced on Tuesday that it was selling 45 million barrels of oil released from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve earlier this year.

Despite Biden’s request to increase the capacity of the refinery, the US Energy Information Administration The estimate was released on Friday “Refinery usage is expected to reach a monthly average of 96% twice this summer, close to the upper limits that refiners can sustain.” There is an additional complication: most US refineries are set up to process imported oil instead of locally produced fuel.

Post with wires