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Oil trade says Granholm assembly sends ‘constructive sign’


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WASHINGTON — A gathering with Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm to decrease fuel costs and enhance home oil provides was constructive, however didn’t produce a significant breakthrough, teams representing the oil trade and refiners mentioned Thursday.

The assembly with Granholm and different prime officers got here as President Joe Biden referred to as on Congress to droop federal taxes on gasoline and diesel gas as a solution to relieve excessive fuel costs which have pissed off drivers and spurred inflation.

The Democratic president additionally referred to as on states to droop their very own fuel taxes or present related reduction, and he delivered a public critique of the power trade for prioritizing earnings over manufacturing.

“It doesn’t reduce all the pain but it will be a big help,” Biden mentioned Wednesday, referring to the nationwide common of $5 per gallon for fuel. Biden mentioned he was doing his half and now needs Congress, states and trade to do their components as nicely.

In a joint assertion, the American Petroleum Institute and the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers mentioned Thursday that challenges dealing with their trade are advanced, from Russia’s conflict in Ukraine to “market imbalances” leftover from COVID-19 shutdowns that led to lowered demand and manufacturing.

The assembly with Granholm “should send a positive signal to the market that the U.S. is committed to long-term investment in a strong U.S. refining industry and aligning policies to reflect that commitment,” the groups said. “Our industry will continue to seek opportunities to work with policymakers to unlock American energy, fuel economic recovery and strengthen our national security.”

The meeting included executives from Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Marathon and Phillips 66.

The conciliatory tone was in contrast to a letter sent this week by Chevron CEO Michael Wirth, who told Biden that the administration “has largely sought to criticize, and at times vilify, our industry.”

Biden responded that Wirth is “mildly sensitive,” adding: “I didn’t know they’d get their feelings hurt that quickly.”

Biden in latest weeks has criticized oil producers and refiners for maximizing earnings and making “more money than God,” reasonably than rising manufacturing in response to larger costs because the economic system recovers from the pandemic and feels the consequences of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

He referred to as Wednesday for a three-month suspension of the 18.4 cents-a-gallon federal tax on fuel and the 24.4 cents-a-gallon federal tax on diesel gas. If the fuel financial savings have been absolutely handed alongside to customers, individuals would save just below $3 for a 15-gallon fill-up of fuel.

Biden’s push faces uphill odds in Congress, the place lawmakers in each events expressed skepticism and outright opposition. Many economists are also cautious of a fuel tax vacation.

High fuel costs pose a basic risk to Biden’s electoral and coverage ambitions. They’ve precipitated confidence within the economic system to droop to lows that bode poorly for defending Democratic management of the House and the Senate in November.

Biden’s previous efforts to chop fuel costs — together with the discharge of oil from the U.S. strategic reserve and better ethanol mixing this summer season — haven’t delivered financial savings on the pump, a threat that carries over to the thought of a fuel tax vacation.

The president can do remarkably little to repair costs which might be set by international markets, profit-driven firms, client demand and aftershocks from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the embargoes that adopted. The underlying downside is a scarcity of oil and refineries that produce fuel, a problem a tax vacation can’t essentially repair.

Oil trade says Granholm assembly sends ‘constructive sign’.
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