June 25, 2022

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Biden mocks 'sensitive' Chevron CEO Michael Wirth in row over gas price claims

Biden mocks ‘sensitive’ Chevron CEO Michael Wirth in row over gas price claims

President Biden escalated his war of words with Chevron CEO Michael Wirth on Tuesday after the nation’s second-largest oil company rejected the president’s “political rhetoric” about rising gas prices.

“It’s kind of sensitive. I didn’t know they would hurt their feelings so quickly,” Biden said at the White House when a reporter asked about Wirth’s refutation.

“We need more refining capacity. The notion that they don’t have oil to explore and extract is simply not true,” Biden said. “We have to be able to do something where they can increase refining capacity while not giving up on the transition to renewable energy.”

Wirth wrote to Biden that addressing rising gas prices “requires thoughtful action and a willingness to work together, not political rhetoric.”

Biden last week blamed oil companies for contributing to higher prices — arguing that they Not refining enough oil Having previously claimed that they are not adequately drilling for existing federal leases and criticized companies such as ExxonMobil and Chevron for making huge profits with soaring global prices.

Wirth dismissed Biden’s portrayal of companies as responsible for rising gas prices, which last week averaged all-time at more than $5 per gallon.

President Biden escalated tensions with Chevron CEO Michael Wirth after the oil company rejected the president’s “political rhetoric.”
AP Photo / Susan Walsh

In 2021, Chevron produced the largest amount of oil and gas in our 143-year history. In the first quarter of 2022, our production in the United States was 1.2 million barrels per day, up 109,000 barrels per day from the same quarter the previous year,” Wirth Books.

“In the Permian Basin [centered in West Texas] Alone, we expect production to approach 750,000 bpd by the end of the year, an increase of more than 15[%] from 2021.”

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Inputs to the US Chevron refinery grew to an average of 915,000 barrels per day in the first quarter of this year from 881,000 barrels in the same quarter last year.

gas prices gradually increase During 2021 — from about $2.30 to $3.27 a gallon — before rising when Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24.

President Biden argues that gas companies are not refining enough oil.
President Biden argues that gas companies are not refining enough oil.
Photograph: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

Republicans say Biden contributed to the crisis with a pen seeks to impose a moratorium Last year in new oil drilling in public lands and by implementing new oil pipeline projects, including Keystone XL pipeline form Canada.

The rise in gas prices contributes to Worst inflation since 1981.

Chevron posted a profit of $6.5 billion In the first quarter of 2022 – quadrupling its profit of $1.7 billion from the first quarter of 2021.

But Wirth wrote to Biden that “Chevron shares your concerns about the high prices that Americans are experiencing.”

“I assure you that Chevron is doing its part to help meet these challenges by increasing capital expenditures to $18 billion in 2022, more than 50% more than last year,” he added.

While today’s geopolitical situation is contributing to this energy crisis, lowering prices and increasing supply will require a change of approach. Our industry has called for increased energy production. We agree. Let’s work together,” added Wirth.

“The United States energy sector needs the cooperation and support of your administration for our country to get back on a path toward greater energy security, economic prosperity, and environmental protection.”

Michael Wirth has dismissed Biden's portrayal of companies as responsible for rising gas prices, which last week averaged all-time at more than $5 per gallon.
Michael Wirth has dismissed Biden’s portrayal of companies as responsible for rising gas prices, which last week averaged all-time at more than $5 per gallon.
Photograph: Brendan McDermid/Reuters

Biden’s administration officials will meet this week with the oil company’s chief executives, but Biden told reporters on Monday he would not participate.

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The president also said Monday that he intends to make a decision this week on whether to ask Congress to do so temporarily abdicate The federal gas tax of 18.3 cents per gallon. I already ordered Release one million barrels per day From the strategic petroleum reserve and allow a Higher percentage of ethanol In gas during the summer, but neither of them did not reduce prices.