The head of the country’s main oil lobby group on Thursday blamed President Biden’s energy policies for driving up inflation for decades.
American Petroleum Institute (API) CEO Mike Sommers tore up the White House’s energy strategy, accusing it of sending mixed signals to domestic industry.
Sommers – who made the comments at a press conference ahead of Biden’s trip to Saudi Arabia where the president is expected to ask Middle Eastern energy producers to pump more oil – urged the president to encourage more large domestic oil and gas production rather than begging foreign leaders for those same resources.
“This administration’s misguided policy agenda – moving away from domestic oil and natural gas – has compounded inflationary pressures and added headwinds to the day-to-day efforts of businesses to meet growing energy needs while cutting emissions,” he said. Sommers to reporters on Thursday.
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“The truth is that oil and natural gas will be needed for decades and the real question is where consumers will turn to meet growing energy demand,” he continued. “American producers are poised to meet the moment, but we need a comprehensive energy policy that lays the foundation for long-term growth.”
The consumer price index, which the Labor Department uses to gauge inflation, jumped 9.1% year-on-year in June, according to a report released Wednesday. Energy prices, including gasoline, natural gas, electricity and fuel oil, alone have increased by 41.6% over the past 12 months.
Sommers said the Biden administration contributed to higher prices by hampering the ability of energy companies to drill for more oil and gas. He urged the president to come up with a comprehensive plan that “lays the foundation for long-term growth.”
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“One of the main concerns we have is the continued mixed messages we’re getting from this administration,” Sommers said. “On the one hand they are asking for more supply, but on the other hand they keep talking about how this industry needs to go away in a very short period of time.”
“It doesn’t unlock the kind of investment we need if we’re going to continue to ramp up production and move this industry forward in the future,” he added.
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The Biden administration has repeatedly pursued green energy policies such as canceling major oil and gas leases, canceling the Keystone XL pipeline, and backing regulations making it harder to approve gas pipeline infrastructure. . On July 1, the Department of the Interior (DOI) removed the ability to hold Atlantic and Pacific rental sales and opened the door to no overseas rental sales for the next five years. .
During the call Thursday, Sommers expressed concern about the DOI’s proposal and reiterated his invitation for Biden to tour the facilities of U.S. energy producers.