Willie R. Tubbs, FISM News
This week it emerged that President Joe Biden has sought the help of major U.S. oil companies as his administration scrambles to find a way to bring down gas prices.
According to a report from Reuters, these meetings came in the wake of a spike in the cost of crude oil, the largest in seven years.
In her Wednesday briefing, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said she was unaware of any contact between the Biden Administration and oil and gas companies.
“(T)he President has asked his economic team, as they do on any range of issues impacting the public, to continue to discuss what the options are that we can take to address the shortages,” Psaki said.
As of this writing, ExxonMobil, Shell, BP, Chevron, and Phillips 66, among the largest companies operating the U.S. oil and gas market, have neither confirmed nor denied the meetings. None of the companies has made an official statement on the matter nor have any tweeted about the issue.
President Biden campaigned on a platform that was decidedly anti-fossil fuel. With a promise of fracking bans and carbon taxes, Biden has placed himself in quite the antagonistic position to oil and gas companies.
In February 2020, according to Americans for Tax Reform, a conservative advocacy group, then-presidential-hopeful Biden pledged in a speech that he would “get rid of fossil fuels”. In 2019, he stated in a town hall meeting that the CEOs of fossil fuel companies should be jailed, although it was unclear on what grounds.
— John Kartch (@johnkartch) December 30, 2019
In the months following Biden’s inauguration, the administration has sought to treat oil and gas companies as key stakeholders, if not partners, in a move to more environmentally friendly energy.
In March, National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy met with oil and gas leaders to discuss “shared priorities around addressing the climate crisis, protecting and creating good-paying union jobs across the country, and ensuring America leads the world in a clean energy revolution that powers the future.”
It is unclear what, if any, specific requests were made of the oil and gas companies in the more recent meetings.
The White House has already requested OPEC increase its supply of oil into the U.S. market, but as reported by CNN Business, this has met with limited success.
“It’s something we continue to press them on,” Psaki said in her Thursday press briefing.
On Oct. 6, Reuters reported Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm said the Biden Administration was considering tapping the nation’s strategic oil reserves to help quell the cost of fuel, but this has thus far remained only a consideration.