Chevron CEO asks Biden for constructive dialogue on oil

Jun 22, 2022 by Energy Connects
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The letter from the Chevron CEO came even as the most recent US government data showed on Tuesday that the capacity for US oil refiners fell in 2021 for the second year in a row.

The CEO of Chevron has urged the White House to engage in a more constructive dialogue with the oil industry over energy costs and sought “a change in approach” by the Biden administration instead of vilifying the sector.

The letter by Michael Wirth is the latest in a series of exchanges between the US oil industry and President Joe Biden over high fuel prices that have driven inflation to 40-year highs.

It came even as the most recent US government data showed on Tuesday that the capacity for US oil refiners fell in 2021 for the second year in a row, as plant shutdowns eroded their ability to produce petrol and diesel.

Wirth said he would be among the energy executives set to attend a meeting at the White House this week to discuss ways to increase production capacity and reduce energy prices.

“Your administration has largely sought to criticize, and at times vilify, our industry,” Wirth wrote in the letter to Biden. “These actions are not beneficial to meeting the challenges we face.”

“We need an honest dialogue,” Wirth wrote. “One that recognises our industry is a vital sector of the US economy and is essential to our national security.”

Refiners across the world are struggling to meet the massive surge in global demand for diesel and petrol, exacerbating already high prices and aggravating supply shortages.

On June 10, Biden censured oil companies for what he said was making record profits and urged them to increase oil production and refining capacity to alleviate gasoline prices. He also accused Exxon Mobil Corp of making “more money than God” and not drilling enough.

Pump prices are near $5 a gallon across the US as soaring demand for car fuels collides with the loss of about 1 million barrels of processing capacity in the last three years due largely to closings to plants that were unprofitable when fuel demand cratered at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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