Chevron Chief Biden has a keen word about gas prices


Washington (AP) — Chevron’s head said Tuesday when President Joe Biden blamed the energy company when gasoline prices were close to record levels, and the CEO of the oil company was “gentlely sensitive.”

The president has been recovering from a pandemic in recent weeks and is feeling the effects of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, so instead of increasing production in response to rising prices, he maximizes profits and “more money than God. He criticized oil producers and refiners for “earning.”

Chevron Chairman and CEO Michael Wirth sent an email to Biden on Tuesday saying that the president’s own words are self-defeating in encouraging businesses to increase their production. Stated.

Chevron is investing in more production, Worth wrote, but “your government has primarily sought to criticize and sometimes blame our industry. These actions are ours. It’s not useful for dealing with the challenges faced by, and it’s not suitable for Americans. “

The CEO of an oil company said he wanted a more collaborative relationship with the government.

“Let’s work together,” Worth wrote. “Americans naturally expect to tackle the challenges facing our country’s leaders and industry seriously and decisively.”

Asked about those comments, Biden showed no sympathy.

“He’s a little sensitive,” Biden said. “I didn’t know they would hurt immediately. You see, we need more refining capacity. This idea that they don’t have the oil to drill and grow is simply not true.”

The average price of gasoline is close to $ 5 per gallon nationwide, which puts a strain on commuter and is a political albatross for Biden’s fellow Democrats in the midterm elections. It continues to vie for a solution, including the possibility of a 18.4 cent gallon federal gas tax suspension. Biden will decide whether to stop the tax by the weekend. Approval from a passive parliament will be required.

Gas taxes will fund highways, but Byden said Tuesday that last year’s $ 1 trillion infrastructure law wouldn’t have a significant impact on road construction from loss of revenue.

The clash between the Biden administration and oil producers and refiners preceded Thursday’s meeting with energy companies by Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell had previously been skeptical about the benefits of stopping the petrol tax. However, D-Calif Rep. Adam Schiff is sponsoring a bill to put the petrol tax on hold until the end of 2023.

In a statement, Schiff said he was in contact with the White House to encourage petrol tax holidays, adding: Big oil needs to be accountable for price cuts that are pushing up prices in the first place. “

The House of Representatives has approved a bill to crack down on allegations of price cuts by oil companies, but the bill is stuck in the Senate. The democratic proposal to impose a “storm profit” tax on oil producers has generated little support in Congress.

The possibility of a gasoline tax exemption has led to criticism from economists and the business community that it has not solved the underlying supply challenges.

In a speech on Tuesday at the New York Economic Club, a non-profit, non-partisan business group, target CEO Brian Cornell called the gas tax holiday a temporary “mini-stimulus” for fuel and transportation.

“We have classic supply and demand challenges,” Cornell told the audience. In every respect, gas holidays only stimulate demand. I’m not doing anything to increase the supply. “

Harvard University professor Jason Furman, a former Obama White House top economist, said the suspension of the gasoline tax would not address supply pressure.

“The refinery is now more constrained, so the supply is almost completely inelastic,” he wrote on Twitter. “Most of the 18.4 cent savings are pocketed by the industry-perhaps a few cents are passed on to consumers.”

White House spokesman Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters that the government is considering as many ways as possible to provide consumers with the peace of mind of gasoline pumps. However, the administration has no plans to instruct Americans to reduce driving and reduce some of the supply pressure during the July 4 vacation.

“Americans will do what they think is right for them and their families,” said Jean-Pierre. “It’s not what we judge.”


AP reporter Matthew Daly from Washington and Anne D’Innocenzio from New York contributed to this report.