president Joe Biden Slammed Exxon Mobil Just hours after U.S. economists said May inflation had risen to levels not seen since the early 1980s, on Friday he said he was greedy for more oil production by oil giants. Stated.
Biden was asked by reporters if his administration had plans to “chase” the interests of oil companies and launched a verbal attack on Exxon, one of the world’s largest oil producers. Gas prices have played a major role in raising consumer costs.
“Can you tell us about Exxon’s profits this quarter?” Biden advised reporters. “This year, Exxon made more money than God.”
Biden, who spoke from Los Angeles, continued his attack at a press conference designed to address the Ministry of Labor’s monthly consumer inflation report released Friday.
Government economists have found prices rise by 1% between April and May.Last month’s jump pushed up the whole country Price increase to 8.6% year-on-yearThe hottest rate since 1981.
Exxon opposed some of the president’s accusations.
“We are in regular contact with the government on investment plans to increase production and refinement capacity in the United States,” ExxonMobil spokesman Casey Norton told CNBC.
US President Joe Biden will speak at the 9th Summit of the Americas on June 10, 2022 in Los Angeles, California, during his visit to the Port of Los Angeles.
Kevin Lamarck | Reuters
Biden’s Chief Economic Adviser, Brian Deese, meets with Exxon’s Chief Executive Officer. Chevron At the request of the company this week, two people familiar with the matter told CNBC. Those discussions included price, production and market conditions.
Biden also talked about broader inflation trends and re-condemned Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine with record high gasoline prices. The national average price of one gallon of regular gasoline reached a record high of $ 4.986 on Friday.
The president has identified some of Exxon’s and other oil producers’ high fuel cost responsibilities for what he called he couldn’t increase supplies to lower prices.
“What I want to say about oil companies is that they have 9,000 drilling permits. They are not drilling,” he continued. “Why don’t they drill? They make more money instead of producing more oil, so prices go up.”
The second, “The reason they aren’t drilling is that they are buying back their own stock,” Biden said. “Buy back your stock and don’t make new investments.”
Exxon, the top oil producer in the United States, Announced to triple in April The size of the share buyback program and buyback of up to $ 30 billion in shares by the end of next year. The total is compared to the previous estimate of $ 10 billion in repurchases.
In the first three months of 2022, Exxon distributed $ 5.8 billion to shareholders. This includes a $ 3.8 billion dividend and a $ 2.1 billion share buyback.
The president concludes with specific instructions to oil producers: “Exxon: Start investing and start paying your taxes.”
Industry insiders say Biden’s strict stance on oil and gas and the presidency during the 2020 campaign have cooled the relationship between the White House and producers. They also deny the government’s claim to take advantage of global crises such as the war in Ukraine to determine the price of Gaudi.
Exxon plans to spend 50% on capital spending on oil-rich Permian Basin in 2022 compared to 2021, adding that it will increase its US light crude oil refining capacity by about 250,000 barrels per day. I did.
Exxon’s 2021 tax bill totaled $ 40.6 billion, an increase of $ 17.8 billion from 2020, Norton said.
Biden’s comment on Friday contrasts with his Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s comment the day before. Yellen was asked why energy producers were hesitant to drill and replied, “I think they are starting it now.”
Asked again if she believes that corporate desires have caused the current inflation surge, she replied that she believes that “supply and demand are primarily driving inflation.”
“I think it’s appropriate to adopt strong antitrust laws, but I don’t think it’s causing inflation, even though many sectors have higher price and cost margins.”
Biden sought to show efforts to curb inflation as the issue was in the minds of voters prior to the November midterm elections. Before speaking in Los Angeles, Biden acknowledged the pain caused by inflation and called for some general policy revisions.
“I definitely understand that inflation is a real challenge for American families. Today’s inflation report confirms what Americans already know. Putin’s price increase,” Biden said in a statement. Is giving a big blow to the United States. ” “My government will continue to do everything it can to lower the prices of Americans.”
Biden called on Congress to pass bills to reduce shipping, prescription and energy prices, and advertised efforts to increase US oil and gas production. At the same time, he warned energy executives in a statement that they would abuse the shrinking global oil supply “as a reason to make things worse for families with excessive profits and price increases.”
Economists say daily Americans will have to wait a little longer for price increases to slow down while the president and his economic team are doing everything they can to increase the supply of goods and services. ..
The Federal Reserve Board, the US central bank responsible for inflation management, has begun raising interest rates and withdrawing Covid-19 stimuli to check consumer and corporate loan demand.
— — Kayla Tausche of CNBC contributed to the report.