The president may use emergency powers if American oil companies fail to increase their output, Biden told oil CEOs Wednesday in a series of letters.
Biden blamed oil companies for having “historically large profit margins”, while Americans are experiencing rising gas prices. Biden was recently criticized for not taking any executive actions to curb inflation.
Biden stated that “there is no doubt that Vladimir Putin is principally to blame for the severe financial pain the American people are suffering.” “But, amid a war which has raised gasoline prices by more than $1.70 per gallon, historically high-profit margins at refineries are worsening this pain.”
He said that companies and others had the opportunity to immediately take steps to increase gasoline, diesel, and other refined products they produce. “My administration will use all available Federal Government tools and emergency authorities to increase refinery output and capacity in the short term and ensure that each region is adequately supplied,” he said.
Biden wrote letters to Marathon Petroleum Corp and Valero Energy Corp.
These letters are Biden’s latest attempt at executive action to reduce inflationary pressure. The current level of inflation is 8.6%, which is a record high for the past 40 years. There are no signs that it will slow down.
These letters were sent one day after Biden had ordered the sale to the U.S. Strategic Oil Reserve of 45 million more barrels of crude oil.
Biden’s letter doesn’t give a time frame for when his administration will resort to emergency powers. He threatens only to do it in the “near future.”
Biden’s Wednesday letter to the oil companies has not been responded to by the companies. Maybe they will take the letter seriously and maybe they won’t, if the U.S. oil refineries are anything like Americans who don’t take Biden seriously, then we are in big trouble.