Exxon Mobil fired back at President Joe Biden who has moved from blaming Vladimir Putin to now blaming U.S. energy producers for soaring gas prices. The White House is now threatening to use emergency powers to find “near-term solutions” that most economists say won’t work.
The energy giant laid out several actions the government could take but has failed to do.
“In the short term, the U.S. government could enact measures often used in emergencies following hurricanes or other supply disruptions—such as waivers of Jones Act provisions and some fuel specifications to increase supplies,” the oil giant said in a news release Wednesday.
Exxon went on to say the federal government “can promote investment through clear and consistent policy that supports U.S. resource development, such as regular and predictable lease sales, as well as streamlined regulatory approval and support for infrastructure such as pipelines.”
Many blame the current energy woes on Biden’s first day in office when he suspended construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. That would have delivered oil from Alberta, Canada, to the refineries in the interior and southern parts of United States. The executive order continues to be criticized by economists, energy industry officials, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Republicans and even several Democrats like West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin.
Over the last three months, as gas prices soared, Biden took to calling it “Putin’s price hike” alleging that prices, which had been skyrocketing since he took office were the result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine which only happened Feb. 24. But in an about-face over the last week, as the price of gas reached $5 a gallon, Biden began blaming energy companies for allegedly gouging consumers.
During a speech at the Port of Los Angeles on June 10, the President said oil companies “had 9,000 permits to drill. They are not drilling. Why aren’t they drilling?”
“Because they make money not producing more oil,” the president said.
Asked about Exxon’s profits, Biden strangely evoked the Creator saying, “Exxon made more money than God this year.”
Biden continued the attack in his letter on Wednesday and suggested that he might use emergency powers, adding that his “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.”
“The crunch that families are facing deserves immediate action,” Biden wrote in a letter this week to seven oil refiners, including Exxon. “Your companies need to work with my Administration to bring forward concrete, near-term solutions that address the crisis.”
But the American Petroleum Institute, which represents the industry, in a statement corrected Biden’s facts. The institute pointed out that capacity has been diminished as the Biden administration has sought to move away from fossil fuels as part of its climate agenda. Meanwhile, several prominent White House officials continue to tout electric vehicles as a means to escape the current high gas prices despite the average cost of a new EV being about $56,000.
“While we appreciate the opportunity to open increased dialogue with the White House, the administration’s misguided policy agenda shifting away from domestic oil and natural gas has compounded inflationary pressures and added headwinds to companies’ daily efforts to meet growing energy needs while reducing emissions,” American Petroleum Institute CEO Mike Sommers said in a statement.
–Metro Voice and wire services