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Joe Biden calls on oil refineries to take ‘immediate action’ amid soaring gas prices

US President Joe Biden on Wednesday called on major oil refining companies to take “immediate action” to increase supply as Americans continue to see soaring prices at the gas pump. He warned the oil industry against unspecified emergency measures over high fuel prices at the heart of high inflation for 40 years.

Average fuel prices are now $5 a gallon for drivers in the United States, up from $3 a year ago, and the surge is rippling through the wider economy, helping to lower fuel ratings. less than 40% Biden approval.

The letter, sent to seven major oil companies, was Biden’s most direct salvo yet in a campaign to blame the industry for fueling price hikes.

Average fuel prices are now $5 a gallon for drivers in the United States, up from $3 a year ago, and the surge is rippling through the wider economy, helping to lower fuel ratings. less than 40% Biden approval.

“Far above normal refinery profit margins passed directly to American families are not acceptable,” Biden wrote in the letter to executives at Shell, Marathon Petroleum Corp, Valero Energy Corp, ExxonMobil, Phillips 66, Chevron and BP.

Biden said the economy was in “wartime,” referring to the global fallout from President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and subsequent sanctions against the Russian energy exporter.

“My administration stands ready to use all reasonable and appropriate tools of the federal government and emergency authorities to increase refinery capacity and production in the near term, and to ensure that every region of this country is adequately supplied,” Biden said, without detailing what kind of action he might take.

Biden has regularly lambasted the oil industry for what he says is a failure to tap already approved wells and ramp up production.

However, the letter, along with a chart illustrating rising producer profits, marked an escalation in the war of words.

In the letter, he requested an “explanation of any reductions in your refining capacity since 2020 and any concrete ideas that would address immediate inventory, pricing and refining capacity issues in the months ahead, including including transportation measures to bring the refined product to market.”

“The crisis facing families deserves immediate action. Your businesses must work with my administration to provide concrete, short-term solutions that respond to the crisis,” he wrote.
Biden’s Democratic Party faces a heavy defeat, losing control of Congress, in the November election and polls show fears about the economy dominating.

Also read: In pictures: Sheep flames engulf dense vegetation in Southern California

In a fiery speech on Tuesday, Biden blamed the Republican obstruction of Congress and Russia’s war in Ukraine for raising prices that he said are “undermining the strength of many families.”

The Federal Reserve was expected to raise interest rates again on Wednesday in an aggressive effort to rein in inflation, amid fears the unexpected outcome could be a recession.

(with agency contributions)

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