(Washington) Joe Biden on Wednesday again attacked American oil companies amid rising fuel prices at the heart of inflation at its highest level in 40 years, warning him in a letter of possible urgent action by federal power.
Posted at 10:52 am
Updated at 4:20 p.m
This letter, sent to seven major oil companies, is part of a campaign by the US Presidency to force them to cut gas prices.
The average price per gallon (3.78 liters) in the United States reaches $5, compared to $3 a year ago, and this increase is reflected in the national economy and leads to a decline in the popularity of the American president , which has less than 40% positive opinions.
“Far above normal refinery profit margins passed directly to American families are unacceptable,” Mr. Biden wrote in his letter to executives at Shell, Marathon Petroleum Corp, Valero Energy Corp, ExxonMobil, Phillips 66, Chevron and BP.
The economy is currently “in wartime,” he says, referring to the global crisis following the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the sanctions against Moscow’s energy sector.
“My administration stands ready to use all reasonable and appropriate federal government tools and contingencies to increase refining and production capacity in the short term and ensure that every region of the country is adequately supplied,” the president said, without detailing those measures .
The White House spokeswoman told the press that Joe Biden sees oil companies as a “patriotic duty” to increase their production capacity.
The President regularly attacks the American oil industry, which, according to him, does not develop the already approved projects to increase the production of black gold.
But Wednesday’s letter, along with a chart of rising oil company profits, marks a new phase in the argument between the executive branch and the industry.
Mr. Biden is asking companies “to provide explanations for reducing their refining capacity since 2020 and concrete ideas for solving inventory, pricing and refining capacity issues in the coming months – including actions to move refined products to market.”
“The crisis families are facing requires immediate action,” he said, offering the oilmen to work with his government “to find concrete and short-term solutions” to the crisis.
The general rise in prices and historically high inflation are weakening the Democrats a few months before the midterm elections, which will replace a large part of the elected congressmen.
On Tuesday, Joe Biden claimed Republican opposition to his reforms and the war in Ukraine explained ever-rising inflation.
The US Federal Reserve raised interest rates again on Wednesday by 0.75 percentage points, the largest hike since 1994, in a bid to curb inflation despite the recession risk it poses to the economy.