White House Tells Off US Oil Companies for Not Playing Along With Biden's New Agenda

© REUTERS / SARAH SILBIGERWhite House Press Secretary Jen Psaki holds the daily press briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S., March 14, 2022. REUTERS/Sarah Silbiger
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki holds the daily press briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S., March 14, 2022. REUTERS/Sarah Silbiger - Sputnik International, 1920, 18.03.2022
American crude output did not bother the Biden administration much, until they caused a spike in global oil prices by introducing sanctions against Russia and slapping a ban on imports of energy resources from the country. Now it would seem that the Democrat's green agenda was pushed aside by rocketing gas prices in the country.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki lashed out at the American oil companies for their reluctance to invest in new drilling operations and extract more oil, as they focused instead on bagging profits thanks to the record-high prices of the black gold.

"The oil and gas industry right now is receiving profit — windfall profits; we’ve seen that. They publicly report their profits […] And instead of keeping up with present demand, too many of these companies, in our view, are making the calculated decision of returning money to investors and shareholders through buybacks and dividends, instead of expanding production enough in the short term, which is what we need."

The press secretary noted that it was a "business decision", which the oil producers announced publicly. Psaki named at least three US oil companies that said they won't increase oil extraction rates and will use extra profits to pay dividends to their shareholders and conduct a buyback of the shares - Occidental Petroleum, Pioneer Natural Resources and Marathon Oil.
Notably, a subsidiary of Marathon Oil, Marathon Petroleum Corporation, won one of the seven contracts to buy crude from the American strategic reserves, which the White House decided to release because of rising prices. The seven contracts will allocate 30 million barrels between the buyers between 1 April and 31 May with another 30 million barrels to be distributed later.
US President Joe Biden, who promised during his election campaign to focus on the agenda of transitioning to green-energy sources, called on the American energy businesses to extract more oil to replace Russian oil on the global market entirely. Before that, he introduced a ban on importing Russian crude and gas to the US, which was a minor market for the Russian energy companies.
Upon his apparently failing to get US companies to behave as he wishes and profit from crude prices of $100 per barrel, Biden authorised the country's strategic oil reserves to be opened to make up for the lack of supply. The decision came as gas prices rocketed.
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