Leaders in the oil industry and other stakeholders are responding to threats Joe Biden made in a letter to fossil fuel executives charging that corporations are putting profits over increasing fossil fuel production.

Biden warned oil companies in his letter that “at a time of war, refinery profit margins well above normal being passed directly onto American families are not acceptable.”

“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,” said Biden, who during the 2020 campaign vowed to stop fossil fuel production in the U.S. 

This comes as the president plans a trip to Saudi Arabia next month to beg that hostile country for more oil exports to the U.S.

One of Biden’s critics is West Virginia Treasurer Riley Moore, who on Wednesday condemned Joe Biden for the attack.

“The President lecturing the oil industry about high prices is the height of hypocrisy,” Moore said in a statement distributed to the media. “If President Biden is looking for someone to blame for high gas prices, he need only to look in the mirror. From day one this administration has waged an open war on fossil fuels, and working-class Americans are now paying the price.”

“Since last May, Treasurer Moore has been leading national efforts to push back against attempts by President Biden and his allies to diminish access to capital for fossil fuel companies,” the press release said. “Those efforts began with a multi-state letter critical of Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry for privately pressuring banks to cut off lending for fossil fuel industries.”

“We have been sounding the alarm for over a year now that this administration’s command-and-control tactics to cut off coal, oil and natural gas supplies, aided by the radical ESG [environmental, social and governance ratings] globalists on Wall Street, would hurt families across our country, and sadly these warnings have become reality.”

“This only underscores the importance for our states to take aggressive action to combat these misguided, anti-American policies,” Moore said.

In November, Moore announced a 15-state coalition of state treasurers and financial officers who are committed to reforming their state banking contract process to push back against the boycotts of coal, oil, and natural gas companies.

“We need to return to energy independence in this country,” Moore said. “Instead of going to Saudi Arabia to beg for oil while demonizing our domestic producers, President Biden should unleash American energy production by removing regulatory roadblocks to drilling, approving new pipelines like the Keystone XL, and encouraging Wall Street to resume the flow of investments and capital to fossil fuel companies.”

The fossil fuel trade group American Petroleum Institute (API) also issued a statement to the media.

“While we appreciate the opportunity to open increased dialogue with the White House, the administration’s misguided policy agenda shifting away from domestic oil and natural gas has compounded inflationary pressures and added headwinds to companies’ daily efforts to meet growing energy needs while reducing emissions,” API President and CEO Mike Sommers said in an email distributed to the press.

“I reinforced in a letter to President Biden and his Cabinet yesterday ten meaningful policy actions to ultimately alleviate pain at the pump and strengthen national security, including approving critical energy infrastructure, increasing access to capital, holding energy lease sales, among other urgent priorities,” Sommers said.

“Ahead of his travel to the Middle East next month, we urge the President to prioritize unlocking U.S. energy resources – that are the envy of the world – instead of increasing reliance on foreign sources.”

Refiners in the U.S.  are running at or near capacity to meet demand with throughput and fuel production near the top of the 5-year range but demand is still outpacing supply, API said. Yesterday, API released its 10 in 2022 plan, which outlines ten actions policymakers can take right now to support U.S. energy production and infrastructure, which will help to alleviate the global mismatch between energy demand and available supply that has driven high fuel prices.

Power The Future, a non-profit focused on the rights of fossil fuel industry workers, also responded to Biden with a letter of its own.

“Your letter to American energy leaders follows a pattern of deflection and half-hearted measures will deliver the same failed results and continue to hurt American families,” Power the Future founder Danial Turner said in the letter. “If only you would work with the American energy industry with the same level of cooperation and good will as you will bring on your trip to the Saudi Kingdom imploring them for more oil production.”

“This crisis requires real solutions, not political gimmicks,” Turner said. “The American people know the difference.”

As he has in the past, Biden’s letter blamed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and “Putin’s price hike” for record-high gas prices in the United States while ignoring the fact that these price increases predate the conflict.

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