Chevron met US Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm to discuss energy-market stability after a letter sent from President Joe Biden to refiners raised tensions between the White House and the oil and gas industry.
After the meeting on Thursday, the US supermajor’s chief executive Mike Wirth said the discussions were constructive, showing a marked change in tone from earlier in the week.
Biden sent several refiners a letter asking them to invest their huge profits into increasing capacity to relieve petrol prices at the pump, and the oil and gas industry responded with anger that his administration had been creating policy barriers against the sector.
Chevron sent a letter dated 21 June to the White House, expressing concern over gasoline prices while condemning the administration’s policies towards the oil and gas industry.
“Your administration has largely sought to criticise, 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,” Wirth wrote.
“As industry leaders, academic experts and numerous policymakers have pointed out, there are no easy fixes nor short-term answers to the global supply and demand imbalances aggravated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Addressing this situation requires thoughtful action and a willingness to work together, not political rhetoric,” Wirth said.
In his letter, Biden asked companies to provide Granholm with an explanation of any reduction in refining capacity since 2020 and concrete ideas to address inventory, price and capacity issues.
After the meeting with Granholm, Wirth said: “We remain optimistic about our ability to work together to achieve these shared objectives. We appreciate Secretary Granholm’s invitation to participate in the conversation, which was an important step toward achieving greater energy security, economic prosperity and environmental protection.”