Some Biden administration officials are coming forward to douse a healthy dose of reality on the rhetoric and mixed messages coming out of the White House that continues to blame U.S. companies for rising prices at the pump.
During an American Clean Power Association forum on Wednesday, the director of the Energy Department’s Loan Programs Office Jigar Shah addressed the importance of working with U.S. oil and natural gas companies. According to Politico:
“Shah also called for working with other energy sectors, including the oil and gas industry, which he said should not be vilified. ‘We don’t know how to run refineries. If these people lose their jobs, and we can’t get them back, we’re screwed. All of us are screwed, because you’re not all running electric vehicles yet for your installation crews,’ he said. ‘We all need to figure out how to coexist together as we make this transition occur.’” (emphasis added)
When pressed about whether companies are price gouging in an appearance before the Senate this week, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell explained that’s not his department’s jurisdiction and doubled down that oil prices are set by the global market:
“There’s really not anything we can do about oil prices. Food prices is a bit more mixed, but for oil prices they’re set at the global level. That has to do with global oil prices and also the refining spread. Neither of these are things that we have the tools to effect.” (emphasis added)
And National Economic Council Director Brian Deese told Fox News on Sunday that “oil will be a part of our economic equation this decade and the next.”
While the comments are more examples of the mixed messages coming out of the administration, but they show but at least some administration officials understand the critical role oil and natural gas plays in the global economy.
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