Energy & Environment

White House asking companies for help lowering gas prices: report

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White House officials have reportedly been in touch with representatives from major U.S. oil and gas companies about how to bring down prices in the U.S., Reuters reported Wednesday.

The Biden administration has been in touch with industry representatives after crude oil hit a seven-year high of $80 this week, according to Reuters, citing two sources with knowledge of the conversations.

The reported conversations occurred days after oil prices in the U.S. hit $81.50 a barrel, the first time since October 2014 that U.S. crude closed at more than $80.

Energy shortages have also hit other parts of the world hard, including Europe, India and China. The White House earlier called on the Organization of the Petroleum-Exporting Countries to increase output.

Domestic U.S. production, meanwhile, saw a slump in 2020 during the initial wave of the coronavirus pandemic and has yet to fully recover. While President Biden imposed a temporary pause on domestic drilling on federal lands in January, U.S. energy officials have said the pause will not manifest in the market until next year.

At the daily White House press briefing Wednesday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said she was unaware of any conversations between officials and industry representatives. Representatives for Chevron and BP declined to comment to The Hill for this story. The Hill has also reached out to Shell and ExxonMobil for comment.

In a statement to The Hill, Frank Macchiarola, senior vice president of policy, economics and regulatory affairs at the American Petroleum Institute, did not address whether industry representatives had been in touch with the administration.

“Instead of looking to restrict access and trade and asking other countries to increase their production, the administration should continue the bipartisan tradition of promoting U.S. energy leadership, which deliver jobs, security, and government revenue from U.S. energy produced to among the highest environmental standards in the world,” he said.

 

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