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US oil refineries meet with Biden officials in high-stakes price negotiations

June 23 (Reuters) – US major oil refineries will meet with US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm and other Biden officials on Thursday to discuss how to reduce record-high fuel prices that are hitting American consumers.

The two sides are meeting with the hope of working together in good faith, but they stay away from solutions. President Joe Biden and Big Oil have been in a tense moment, as the president has hit its CEOs over the past few weeks to reap huge profits from the energy crisis that has been exacerbated by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Read More

According to the American Automobile Association, the average price of gasoline was $ 4.955 per gallon on Wednesday, up from 37 cents a month ago and $ 1.89 a year ago.

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Refiners cut capacity during the COVID-19 crisis, but increased demand for post-pandemic and global fuel crisis after Western countries sanctioned Russian oil.

Exxon, Chevron and other refining giants have reported a huge jump in profits at the end of 2021 and in the first quarter of this year, and plan to repurchase shareholders.

The White House is targeting the refinery industry’s decision to deactivate nearly 1 million barrels per day of production capacity by 2020, arguing that their bumper profits should help restart plants or components and fill supply gaps that increase prices.

The White House said refiners have a “patriotic” duty to help supply. Read More

“We’re asking them the question, honestly, what can be done? What do you need to open up extra processing capacity?” Grahamholm told reporters Wednesday.

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

Refineries say investing in reopening plants has significant financial risks. The Biden administration has pledged to move the country away from fossil fuels that contribute to climate change and has received billions of dollars for the electric vehicle industry.

Refiners are suggesting short-term options to reduce gas prices, such as waiving summer fuel specifications designed to reduce smoke, loosening the shipping rules required by union workers, and approving new renewable energy technology, sources told Reuters. Read More

The industry seeks to persuade the Biden administration not to ban US fuel exports to meet record gas prices, which will hurt allies who rely on exports and force refiners to close capacity due to loss of markets.

Biden, a Democrat, called on Congress on Wednesday to suspend the federal gas tax for three months, but it has faced opposition from lawmakers within its own party, who say it could provide some relief when a hole in the highway trust is blown up. The budget of the fund. Read More

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Report by Jarrett Renshaw and Laura Sanicola; Edited by Heather Timmons and Richard Pullin

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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