Biden Is Threatening Oil Companies With Use of Emergency Powers Against Them

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

Joe Biden has tried to blame everyone but himself for inflation and skyrocketing gas prices. His most common excuse for the rise in gas prices has been that it is “Putin’s price hike” because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. But the gas prices were going up long before Putin invaded in February 2022 — they’ve been going up ever since Joe Biden came into office. They’ve doubled since Biden took office and J.P. Morgan analysts are predicting gas may be $6.00 a gallon by August. It’s over $5.00 now and the experts are predicting that it will continue to be a problem.


It’s not hard to understand why, given Biden’s attack on the fossil fuel industry. When he ran, he promised that he would push the country to do away with fossil fuels.

But now, Biden is trying to place the blame on another source — the oil companies. He’s written a letter to multiple oil companies including Marathon Petroleum Corp, Valero Energy Corp, ExxonMobil, Phillips 66, Chevron, BP, and Shell, blaming them in part for the high prices and taking profits.

Imagine you would ever have someone in Biden’s position daring to tell private companies that passing along their expenses is “not acceptable.” We’re talking about the government trying to dictate the means of production. On the upside, he finally seems to be accepting that lack of refinery output does impact prices.

I understand that many factors contributed to the business decisions to reduce refinery capacity, which occurred before I took office. But at a time of war, refinery profit margins well above normal being passed directly on to American families are not acceptable. [….]

In addition, my Administration is prepared to use all reasonable and appropriate Federal Government tools and emergency authorities to increase refinery capacity and output in the near term and to ensure that every region of this country is appropriately supplied. Already, I have invoked emergency powers to execute the largest Strategic Petroleum Reserve release in history, expand access to E15 (gasoline with 15% ethanol), and authorize the use of the Defense Production Act to provide reliable inputs into energy production. I am prepared to use all tools at my disposal, as appropriate, to address barriers to providing Americans affordable, secure energy supply.

The crunch that families are facing deserves immediate action. 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. I have directed the Secretary of Energy to convene an emergency meeting on this topic and engage the National Petroleum Council in the coming days. In advance of that, I request that you provide the Secretary with an explanation of any reduction in your refining capacity since 2020 and any ideas that would address the immediate inventory, price, and refining capacity issues in the coming months — including transportation measures to get refined product to market.

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. I appreciate your immediate attention to this issue and your efforts to mitigate the economic challenges that Vladimir Putin’s actions have created for American families.


Nevertheless, that’s a concerning threat. That’s a Mafia letter saying “Come across or we’re going to make you comply.”

Meanwhile, Biden is blaming them, when he is the cause of it. He’s the one who was shutting down pipelines, stopping drilling, and canceling leases. One of his allies, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), is even threatening a 21 percent surtax on oil profits. Why would business people want to increase production in such an uncertain environment where the government has declared them the enemy?

Biden talks about being in a “war” and the war affecting things. He’s right — except the war is the one he declared on the energy industry. He’s blaming the victims of his war. The purpose of this is to play to his leftist base who believe this lie that it’s because of gouging oil companies. They don’t ask why these oil companies weren’t gouging us all under Trump? But that’s what this letter is about — to say, “See? I threatened them with a strongly worded letter.”

But again, what would happen if they were to put a surtax in place? The companies would naturally raise prices as a result and make everything ten times worse. It would also reduce supply from companies because who would want to produce under the gun like that, with the threat of punishment from the government? That isn’t the way our constitutional republic is supposed to work.


The answer would be for Biden to retract his prior attacks and have a reasonable policy going forward so that companies and the American people could have stability in the market. But he just wants to act like a dictator and this letter is just the latest example.


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