Joe Biden sent an official letter to the executives of America’s energy companies this week; demanding they explain the “lack of gas” creating record high-prices in all 50 states.
The Letter States:
I am writing to you about the high prices our fellow Americans are paying at the pump, and how we can all play a part in addressing them. Since the beginning of this year, gasoline prices have increased by more than $1.70 per gallon.
Vladimir Putin’s war of aggression, and the bipartisan and global effort to counter it, has disrupted the global supply of oil and driven up the global price. But the sharp rise in gasoline prices is not driven only by rising oil prices, but by an unprecedented disconnect between the price of oil and the price of gas. The last time the price of crude oil was about $120 per barrel, in March, the price of gas at the pump was $4.25 per gallon. Today, gas prices are 75 cents higher, and diesel prices are 90 cents higher.
That difference – of more than 15% at the pump – is the result of the historically high profit margins for refining oil into gasoline, diesel and other refined products. Since the beginning of the year, refiners’ margins for refining gasoline and diesel have tripled, and are currently at their highest levels ever recorded.
I understand that many factors contributed to the business decisions to reduce refinery capacity, which occurred before I took office. But at a time of war, refinery profit margins well above normal being passed directly onto American families are not acceptable.
There is no question that Vladimir Putin is principally responsible for the intense financial pain the American people and their families are bearing. But amid a war that has raised gasoline prices more than $1.70 per gallon, historically high refinery profit margins are worsening that pain.
Your companies and others have an opportunity to take immediate actions to increase the supply of gasoline, diesel, and other refined product you are producing and supplying to the United States market. With prices for your product where they are today, you have ample market incentive to take these actions, and I recognize that some of you have already begun to do so. I also encourage you to continue maintaining and expanding fuel supply safely.