By Jack Phillips
After President Joe Biden met with Saudi leaders abroad, U.S. oil producers said that the federal government should stop targeting the industry.
“In spite of … attempts to limit supply, we’re doing everything we can to increase our production,” Tall City Exploration President and CEO Mike Oestmann told Fox Business. “We’re spending all the money that we make. We’re putting it right back in the ground with the addition of the bank borrowing that we’re doing.”
Gas prices actually have dropped by more than 45 cents per gallon in the past month; on July 17, AAA data show the national average price currently stands at $4.53. Diesel, which is used by many trucks and most trains, has dropped about 26 cents over the past month, but prices remain elevated at $5.54 per gallon.
Biden went to Saudi Arabia last week to meet with top kingdom officials, including the crown prince, in a bid to expand oil production in the Middle Eastern country. But some oil producers in the United States said that Biden should instead tap into U.S. resources.
“I think the president could have saved a lot of time and taxpayer dollars and come out here to Midland, Texas, to talk to us instead of going to Saudi Arabia,” Latshaw Drilling President Trent Latshaw told Fox Business.
“Mr. President, if you want to talk about increasing oil production, come out here and talk to us because we’re just the industry that can help you out,” Latshaw said.
Meanwhile, there is little-to-no indication that the Biden administration will relax some of its policies that are discouraging the oil and gas industry. Republicans have criticized the president for signing numerous executive orders, including killing off the Keystone XL pipeline, ending new federal drilling leases, and ending some fossil fuel subsidies.
At the same time, Biden last month frequently criticized oil corporations and alleged, while providing little evidence, that they are price-gouging consumers at the pump. Some White House officials have suggested that Americans purchase electric vehicles to escape high gas prices.
In a letter to oil companies in mid-June, Biden asserted that oil companies need to produce more, which drew rebuke from the CEOs of ExxonMobil and Chevron.
During a news conference last month, Biden dismissed suggestions from Mike Wirth, the head of Chevron, while calling him “mildly sensitive.”
“I didn’t know they’d get their feelings hurt that quickly,” Biden said. “Look, we need more refining capacity. This idea that they don’t have oil to drill and to bring up is simply not true.”