NATIONAL NEWS

Oil CEOs call for ‘tone shift’ from White House on finger-pointing over gas prices

Jun 23, 2022, 4:58 PM | Updated: Jun 25, 2022, 8:52 pm
Gas prices are displayed on a sign in Washington, D.C., on June 14. The oil industry is calling for...
Gas prices are displayed on a sign in Washington, D.C., on June 14. The oil industry is calling for a "tone shift" from the White House on finger-pointing over rising gas prices. (Stefani Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images/FILE via CNN)
(Stefani Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images/FILE via CNN)

(CNN) — The oil industry pushed for an easing of tensions and a dialing back of finger-pointing from the White House during a Thursday meeting with the Energy Department as high gas prices continue to anger politicians and consumers.

“Our guys raised concerns about the ongoing tone from the administration. We asked that their tone shift,” American Petroleum Institute CEO Mike Sommers told CNN after the in-person meeting at Energy Department headquarters between oil CEOs and Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm.

Sommers, who was not in the meeting but was briefed by oil CEOs who were there, said the industry made a series of policy recommendations to the Biden administration to address high gasoline prices. The oil industry also urged President Joe Biden to get personally involved and meet with oil CEOs to address high prices.

“We’d welcome an opportunity to sit down with the president himself,” said Sommers, who, along with Big Oil CEOs, met with former President Donald Trump in early 2020 when oil prices were crashing. “That’s something that almost every president has done. This one has not.”

No concrete actions or commitments were announced following Thursday’s meeting.

In a statement, the Energy Department described the meeting as “productive” and expressed hope that it will be part of an “ongoing dialogue for more effective collaboration.”

Secretary Granholm called on the industry to “bring supply online” to lower prices and reiterated that Biden is prepared to “act quickly and decisively,” the Energy Department said in a readout following the meeting, which included executives from ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP, Shell, Valero, Phillips 66 and Marathon Petroleum.

Sommers told CNN the Biden administration seemed open to some of the industry’s proposals, including waiving the Jones Act to speed up the delivery of gasoline and diesel from the Gulf Coast to the East Coast.

The Jones Act is a federal law aimed at protecting U.S. shipbuilders by limiting shipping by foreign vessels. It has been waived in the past during supply crunches.

In a statement Thursday evening, Ku’uhaku Park — president of the American Maritime Partnership — said, “The Jones Act is not a cost driver for increased gas prices, representing an average of less than one cent per gallon of the overall cost of gasoline.”

Sommers said Thursday’s meeting was “a really constructive dialogue.”

The Energy Department said Granholm reminded the oil CEOs that “their consumers, workers and communities are feeling the pain at the pump because of Putin’s Price Hike.”

“At a time when Putin is using energy as a weapon,” the Energy Department said, “oil companies must deliver solutions to ensure secure, affordable supply.”

Beyond Jones Act waivers, Sommers said oil CEOs discussed other proposals with the Energy Department, including allowing winter grade gasoline to be sold during summer months and waiving blending requirements for ethanol during the ongoing period of tight supplies.

The meeting comes days after Chevron CEO Mike Wirth accused Biden of seeking to vilify oil and gas producers. Biden responded by saying, “He’s mildly sensitive,” adding, “I didn’t know they’d get their feelings hurt that quickly.”

Earlier this month, a White House official blasted “outrageous” oil profits and left the door open to a windfall profit tax on the industry. Biden himself called out the industry’s biggest company, saying: “Exxon made more money than God last year.”

Sommers responded to CNN on Thursday, saying, “No one is going to invest in an industry that the administration says will end in 2030.”

Although the industry has a “great relationship” with the Energy Department and Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, Sommers suggested that is not the case with the White House itself.

“It does seem like there is a separation of what we hear from the department and what we hear from the podium at the White House,” he said.


The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

National News

Hours after gunfire interrupted the Highland Park, Illinois, July Fourth parade, killing six people...
Dakin Andone, Steve Almasy and Curt Devine, CNN

What we know about the Highland Park shooting suspect

Robert "Bobby" E. Crimo III, 21, faces seven charges of first-degree murder in connection with the shooting in Highland Park, Illinois.
21 hours ago
FILE IMAGE - Brittney Griner #42 of the Phoenix Mercury durring pregame warmups at Footprint Center...
DOUG FEINBERG, AP Basketball Writer

White House: Biden has read Griner letter pleading for help

Brittney Griner’s appeal to President Joe Biden in a handwritten letter continued to garner reaction Tuesday after the WNBA All-Star acknowledged she feared never returning home and asked Biden not “forget about me and the other American Detainees.”
21 hours ago
HIGHLAND PARK, IL - JULY 05: Law enforcement work the scene of a shooting at a Fourth of July parad...
Amir Vera, Jason Hanna, Adrienne Broaddus and Helen Regan, CNN

Highland Park parade shooting suspect charged with 7 counts of murder, state’s attorney says

The suspect in Monday's mass shooting at a July 4th parade in Highland Park, Illinois, that left seven dead and injured more than two dozen has been charged with seven counts of first-degree murder.
21 hours ago
An Atlanta-area special grand jury investigating former President Donald Trump's attempts to overtu...
Sara Murray and Jason Morris, CNN

Graham, Giuliani, Eastman and other Trump advisers subpoenaed in Georgia election probe

An Atlanta-area special grand jury investigating former President Donald Trump's attempts to overturn the 2020 election in Georgia has subpoenaed a handful of key Trump allies, including his former attorney and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham
21 hours ago
R&B singer R. Kelly (L) arrives at the Cook County courthouse where jury selection is scheduled to ...
Associated Press

In reversal, prosecutors say R. Kelly off suicide watch

Prosecutors say R. Kelly is no longer on suicide watch following the jailed R&B singer's sentencing in a federal sex abuse case.
21 hours ago
A person pumps gas at a Shell gas station on April 01, 2022, in Houston, Texas. The Biden administr...
Alicia Wallace and Chris Isidore, CNN

Oil drops below $100 a barrel for first time since early May

For the first time in nearly two months, crude oil prices have fallen below $100 a barrel, reflecting investors' growing concerns of a US recession.
21 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

hand holding 3d rendering mobile connect with security camera for security solutions...
Les Olson

Wondering what security solutions are right for you? Find out more about how to protect your surroundings

Physical security helps everyone. Keep your employees, clients, and customers safe with security solutions that protect your workplace.
Many rattan pendant lights, hay hang from the ceiling.Traditional and simple lighting....
Lighting Design

The Best Ways to Style Rattan Pendant Lighting in Your Home

Rattan pendant lights create a rustic and breezy feel, and are an easy way to incorporate this hot trend into your home decor.
Earth day 2022...
1-800-GOT-JUNK?

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.
Oil CEOs call for ‘tone shift’ from White House on finger-pointing over gas prices