Politics Biden, Chevron chief traded sharp on gas prices

Biden, Chevron chief traded sharp on gas prices


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WASHINGTON (AP) – Chevron’s head back and forth on Tuesday complained that President Joe Biden was blaming fuel companies at a time when gasoline prices were at record highs, and the president responded that the oil company CEO was “low. Sensitive.”

In recent weeks the president has criticized oil producers and refiners for increasing profits and making “more money than God” rather than boosting production in response to higher prices as the economy recovers from the epidemic and is experiencing the effects of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Chevron chairman and CEO Michael Wirth wrote in an email to Biden on Tuesday that the president’s own words about encouraging companies to increase production were self-defeating.

Chevron is investing in more production, Wirth wrote, but “your administration has tried to criticize and sometimes criticize our industry more. These measures are not beneficial and do not qualify the American people to face the challenges we face.


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

“Let’s work together,” Wirth wrote. “The American people rightly expect our country’s leaders and industries to address the challenges they face seriously and firmly.”

Joe Biden

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  • When asked about those comments, Biden showed no sympathy.

    “He’s slightly sensitive,” Biden said. “I do not know if their sentiments will deteriorate so quickly. Look, we need more refining capacity. This idea that they have no oil to drill and raise is not true.

    Average gas prices are around $ 5 per gallon across the country, a political albatross for Biden’s fellow Democrats, who are under pressure from travelers and heading to the midterm elections. The White House has been scrambling for solutions, including the suspension of the 18.4-cent gallon federal gas tax.

    Biden said Tuesday that the gas tax would fund highways, but that any loss of revenue due to the $ 1 trillion infrastructure law last year would not have a major impact on road construction.

    The clash took place between the Biden administration and oil producers and refiners ahead of Thursday’s meeting with energy companies by Energy Secretary Jennifer Granhome.

    Both House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell have previously expressed doubts about the benefits of suspending the gas tax. But spokesman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., Is sponsoring a bill to end the gas tax by the end of 2023.

    Schiff said in a statement that he was in touch with the White House to promote the Gas Tax Holiday, but that we should not stop there. We must also hold Big Oil accountable for the rise in prices that will drive up prices in the first place.

    The House passed a law to curb alleged price increases by oil companies, but the bill remained in the Senate. Democratic proposals to impose a “windfall profits” tax on oil producers have generated little support in Congress.


    The possibility of a gas tax holiday has received criticism from economists and the business community for not addressing the underlying supply challenges.

    In a speech Tuesday at the Economic Club of New York, a non – profit, non – partisan business group, Target CEO Brian Cornell called the gas tax holiday a temporary “mini stimulus” that would do nothing to fundamentally change the supply and demand curve. Fuel and transportation.

    “We have a classic supply-and-demand challenge,” Cornell told the audience. “After all, gas is fueling holiday demand. It’s doing nothing to increase supply.

    Harvard University professor Jason Furman, a former top economist at the Obama White House, said the gas tax suspension would not address supply pressures.

    “Refineries are now more limited so supply is almost completely volatile,” he wrote on Twitter. “Most of the 18.4 percent discount will be pocketed by the industry – a few cents could be transferred to consumers.”

    White House Press Secretary Karen Jean-Pierre told reporters that the administration is looking at as many ways as possible to bring some relief to consumers at the gas pump. The administration, however, did not plan to tell Americans to drive less during the July 4 holidays and reduce some supply pressures.

    “Americans are going to do what they think is right for themselves and their families,” Jean-Pierre said. “This is not something we have to judge.”


    AP reporters Matthew Daly in Washington and Anne de Innocenzio in New York contributed to the report.

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