(Jacob Bruns, Headline USA) As fuel and energy costs soar to all-time highs, President Joe Biden threatened oil company executives with a sternly written letter in a desperate bid to convince them to bring down costs or increase production.
President Biden writes to oil executives complaining (!!!) the industry shut down too much refining capacity:
— Javier Blas (@JavierBlas) June 15, 2022
The president claimed Big Oil’s profits had tripled as Americans struggle with record high prices at the pump, and he threatened to use “emergency powers” through the Defense Production Act to regulate the private industry if they refused to comply.
“The crunch that families are facing deserves immediate action,” Biden wrote. “Your companies need to work with my Administration to bring forward concrete, near-term solutions that address the crisis.”
But the oil executives countered by suggesting that a great deal of the problem stems from Biden and his very own policies, Red State reported.
Exxon Mobile issued a response Wednesday defending its production—which resulted in losses during the pandemic—and pointing specifically to Biden’s own failed policies as the source of the problem.
Exxon comes out swinging! pic.twitter.com/NRMqgd3Ho0
— Eric Nuttall (@ericnuttall) June 15, 2022
“Specific to refining capacity in the U.S., we’ve been investing through the downturn to increase refining capacity to process U.S. light crude by about 250,000 barrels per day—the equivalent of addent a new, medium-sized refinery,” Exxon wrote in the statement.
“We kept investing even during the pandemic, when we lost more than $20 billion and had to borrow more than $30 billion to maintain investment to increase capacity to be ready for post-pandemic demand,” it added.
The statement pointed to Biden’s reversal of Trump-era pro-energy policies as a reason companies were reluctant to put themselves on the line.
“Longer term, government can promote investment through clear and consistent policy that supports U.S. resource development, such as regular and predictable lease sales, as well as streamlined regulatory approval and support for infrastructure such as pipelines,” it noted.
Conservative critics chimed in via social media to pile onto the accusations of bad-faith hypocrisy surrounding Biden’s efforts to scapegoat the oil industry and deflect personal blame, TownHall reported.
WH begs oil cos to improve situation.
Can we drill? We'd rather you not.
Can we build a refinery? We'd rather you not.
Can we build a pipeline? We'd rather you not.
Just make it better. https://t.co/DBfpBu1mL3
— Patrick De Haan ⛽️📊 (@GasBuddyGuy) June 15, 2022
— House Judiciary GOP (@JudiciaryGOP) June 15, 2022
Some also pointed the finger at short-sighted Democrat voters, noting that Biden’s policy was simply a fulfillment of his campaign promises.
— Gorringo (@ring_trader) June 15, 2022
Still others cautioned that Biden’s ultimatum looked a lot like the sort of rhetoric used by socialist dicators like the late Hugo Chavez as he sought to nationalize Venezuela’s private oil industry and drive his once-great country into the ground.
“My Administration is prepared to use all reasonable and appropriate Federal Government tools and emergency authorities…” – @POTUS
What’s next? The socialist energy price controls Republicans warned of? https://t.co/AXhzuIu3n6
— Energy & Commerce GOP (@HouseCommerce) June 15, 2022
Headline USA’s Ben Sellers contributed to this report.