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Biden Bristles After Chevron CEO Fires Back At Administration’s Energy Policies

President Joe Biden can dish it out, but he seems to have a hard time taking it.

Last week, Biden sent a letter to American oil and gas companies, castigating them for what he claimed was “running historically high profit margins and not doing enough to lower fuel prices.”

Chevron CEO Mike Wirth was having none of it, explaining how Biden administration policies were at the heart of the energy cost crisis.

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Fighting Back

In his response to Biden, Wirth pointed out that Chevron was, “doing its part … by increasing capital expenditures to $18 billion in 2022, more than 50% higher than last year.”

Despite the promise of larger investments, one can’t help but notice a common theme in energy company’s retorts to Biden has been what economists call “regime uncertainty,” where industries that require large capital and time investments need a steady policy for their investments to pay off:

“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.”

It was here that Wirth took the gloves off.

“Chevron and its 37,000 employees work every day to help provide the world with the energy it demands and to lift up the lives of billions of people who rely on these supplies. Notwithstanding these efforts, your Administration has largely sought to criticize, and at times vilify, our industry. These actions are not beneficial to meeting the challenges we face and are not what the American people deserve.”

Biden’s unhelpful response was a snarky one: “He’s mildly sensitive. 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.” 

Joe is actually right on one point: there is oil to drill, and plenty of it.

But shutting down the Keystone XL pipeline and disastrous industry regulations like pausing federal oil and gas leasing, and relaying the idea that your plan is to upend the industry will not persuade the industry to invest in more exploration and drilling.

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The Ultimate Goal

Joe Biden’s plan seems to be that he can have the best of both worlds:

“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. They’re both within the realm of possibility.” 

Pay attention to that phrase, “renewable energy.” Because that is the ultimate goal, to separate Americans from their fossil-fueled vehicles.

And the elites that populate the Biden administration are not shy about their agenda, and they want to do it in a hurry.

It started early. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, at one point remarking, “If you drive an electric car, this would not be affecting you,” says the woman whose estimated worth is $8 million.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg echoed the same sentiments. At a press Conference in March, Buttigieg stated that people in “rural to suburban to urban communities can all benefit from the gas savings of driving an EV.”

The tidbit that both Granholm and Buttigieg failed to mention, the average cost of an electric vehicle will set you back roughly $50,000.

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Keep Having To Set Joe Straight

This is not the first dust up between Joe Biden and energy companies. Back in March, Biden was handed the convenience of being able to blame Vladimir Putin and the invasion of Ukraine for high gas prices.

But because Joe Biden is a lifetime bureaucrat, and really has no idea how the gas and oil industry works, Kathleen Sgamma, president of the Western Energy Alliance, appeared on “Fox & Friends” to try and break it down so Joe Biden could understand.

“Which is it? You can’t blame Putin and us at the same time. The bottom line is we are not price makers, we are price takers. We suffer from low prices and then we have higher prices. That is based on the price of oil globally. But we are not setting that price. We would love to produce more in the United States and help to bring those prices down. Demand has risen, we’ve had the price shock of Russia invading Ukraine. There are various factors that go into the price of oil, but we are not setting that price.”

On Thursday, Energy Secretary Granholm is scheduled to meet with energy companies.

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