Economy, Americas

Biden urges oil companies to boost supply, criticizes high-profit margins

President says there is unprecedented disconnect between price of oil, gasoline

Övünç Kutlu   | 15.06.2022
Biden urges oil companies to boost supply, criticizes high-profit margins


US President Joe Biden urged major oil companies to boost their supply against record gasoline prices and criticized their high-profit margins.

The president urged companies to take "immediate actions" to raise the supply of gasoline, diesel and other oil refined products, in a letter sent Tuesday to ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP, Shell, Marathon Petroleum, Valero Energy and Phillips 66.

"Since the beginning of the year, refiners’ margins for refining gasoline and diesel have tripled, and are currently at their highest levels ever recorded," Biden said, and stressed that there is "an unprecedented disconnect between the price of oil and the price of gas."

"At a time of war, refinery profit margins well above normal being passed directly onto American families are not acceptable," he wrote.

Biden reiterated that Russian President Vladimir Putin is "principally responsible" for rising crude prices in the world and record-high gasoline prices in the US. "But amid a war that has raised gasoline prices more than $1.70 per gallon, historically high refinery profit margins are worsening that pain."

"The lack of refining capacity -- and resulting unprecedented refinery profit margins -- are blunting the impact of the historic actions my Administration has taken to address Vladimir Putin's Price Hike and are driving up costs for consumers," he added.

Amid Russia's war on Ukraine, international oil benchmark Brent crude jumped to $139 in March -- its highest since 2008.

The national average for gasoline in the US climbed above $5 per gallon (3.785 liters) during the weekend and hit an all-time high of $5.016 on Tuesday, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA).

The president emphasized that his administration is ready to use emergency powers to increase refinery capacity and production.

"Your companies need to work with my Administration to bring forward concrete, near-term solutions that address the crisis and respect the critical equities of energy workers and fence-line communities," wrote Biden.

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