President Joe Biden mocked Chevron CEO Michael Wirth on Tuesday after the oil executive denounced Biden for vilifying oil companies.
What did Wirth say?
Chevron sent Biden a letter Tuesday in response to one that Biden executives sent seven oil companies last week.
In Biden’s letter, the president
threatened to use “emergency authorities” if the companies do not comply with demands to increase production.
But according to Wirth, Chevron is producing more oil today than at any other point in company history, thus deflating the charge that oil companies are not working hard enough as gas prices remain at record highs. After outlining Chevron’s production numbers and its investments, Wirth took aim at Biden.
“[Y]our Administration has largely sought to criticize, and at times vilify, our industry,” Wirth said. “These actions are not beneficial to meeting the challenges we face and are not what the American people deserve.”
The solution to the ongoing crisis, Wirth explained, “requires thoughtful action and a willingness to work together, not political rhetoric.” Wirth, therefore, suggested that bringing down gas prices and increasing oil supply “will require a change in approach” from Biden.
“The U.S. energy sector needs cooperation and support from your Administration for our country to return to a path toward greater energy security, economic prosperity, and environmental protection,” Wirth wrote. “We need clarity and consistency on policy matters ranging from leases and permits on federal lands, to the ability to permit and build critical infrastructure, to the proper role of regulation that considers both costs and benefits.”
How did Biden respond?
The president was asked about Wirth’s letter at the White House Tuesday afternoon.
“He’s mildly sensitive,” Biden said of Wirth. “I didn’t know they’d get their feelings hurt that quickly.
“Look, we need more refining capacity. This idea that they don’t have oil to drill and to bring up is simply not true,” he continued. “We ought to be able to work something out whereby they’re able to increase refining capacity and still not give up on transitioning to renewable energy.”
How did Chevron respond?
In response to a question about Biden’s remarks, a Chevron spokesperson told TheBlaze that Wirth is “looking forward” to a meeting with Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm on Thursday.
The spokesman added that Wirth “is hopeful for a constructive conversation about actions to address the near-term issues and longer-term stability of energy markets.”