News: Latest News
Latest NewsCompaniesMarketsEconomy & ForexCommoditiesInterest RatesBusiness LeadersFinance Pro.CalendarSectors 
All NewsEconomyCurrencies & ForexCryptocurrenciesCybersecurityPress Releases

U.S. oil refiners to meet Biden officials in high-stakes price talks

06/23/2022 | 06:09am EDT
FILE PHOTO: Granholm speaks at a press briefing at the White House in Washington

(Reuters) - Major U.S. oil refiners will meet with U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm and other Biden officials on Thursday in an emergency meeting about how to lower record-high fuel prices that are squeezing American consumers.

The two sides are meeting with a promise to work together in good faith, but they appear far apart on solutions. The discussion comes at a tense moment for President Joe Biden and Big Oil, as the president has spent the last few weeks bashing its CEOs for reaping huge profits from a fuel supply crunch exacerabted by Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The average price of gasoline was $4.955 per gallon on Wednesday, according to data from the American Automobile Association, 37 cents more than a month ago, and $1.89 more than a year ago.


Retail sales and gasoline prices

Refiners cut capacity during the COVID-19 crisis shutdowns, but post-pandemic demand and a global fuel crisis after Western nations sanctioned Russian oil have driven prices up.

Exxon, Chevron and other refining giants reported a massive jump in profits at the end of 2021 and the first quarter of this year, and plan to shower shareholders with buybacks.

The White House has targeted the refining industry's decision to idle about 1 million barrels per day of production capacity since 2020, arguing they should use their bumper profits to restart plants or units and help fill the supply gap that is driving up prices.

Refiners have a "patriotic" duty to help with supply, the White House has said. [L1N2Y23JO]

"We're going in, in good faith, asking them the question of what can be done. What do you need to open up additional refining capacity?" Gramholm told reporters on Wednesday.

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

Refiners say investing in reopening plants carries significant financial risks. The Biden administration came into office vowing to shift the country away from fossil fuels that contribute to climate change, and has secured billions of dollars for the electric vehicle industry.

The refiners will also suggest short-term options to lower gas prices, such as waiving summertime fuel specifications designed to reduce smog, relaxing shipping rules requiring union labor and approving new renewable fuel technology, sources told Reuters. [L1N2Y91PM]

The industry will try to convince the Biden administration not to ban exports of U.S. fuel to combat record gas prices, arguing it will hurt allies who depend on the exports and force refiners to shut off capacity due to loss of markets.

Biden, a Democrat, on Wednesday called on Congress to pass a three-month suspension of the federal gas tax, but that was met with opposition from lawmakers within his own party who say it may provide little relief while blowing a hole in a Highway Trust Fund budget.

(Reporting By Jarrett Renshaw and Laura Sanicola; editing by Heather Timmons and Richard Pullin)

By Jarrett Renshaw and Laura Sanicola


© Reuters 2022
Latest news "Economy & Forex"
12:58pWeary Argentina investors hit by more political turmoil
RE
12:53pRussian lawmakers approve harsher fines for foreign tech firms without offices
RE
12:49pEuro falling towards parity pain point
RE
12:46pS&P 500, Dow slip as recession fears mount
RE
12:39pS.African rand hits new 20-month low as investors embrace dollar
RE
12:38pSuspected shooter in Chicago July 4 parade attack bought gun legally
RE
12:33pBritain adds two Russians to its sanctions list
RE
12:33pUk makes 2 new designations under russia sanctions regime…
RE
12:25pGerman bond yields slide on growth fears, spreads widen
RE
12:15pCROP WATCH : Dryness clips corn health in eastern belt -Braun
RE
Latest news "Economy & Forex"