President Joe Biden’s energy secretary, Jennifer Granholm, sent a letter last week threatening U.S. oil refiners to stockpile more fuel, according to Bloomberg Columnist Javier Blas.
Granholm demanded that top oil refiners curb sales and exports to build up their supplies of fuel to address the historically low levels of gasoline and diesel in the country, according to the letter, which was posted by Blas on Twitter. If the firms fail to follow the Biden administration’s directives they will be met with “emergency measures.”
“Given the historic level of U.S. refined product exports, I again urge you to focus … on building inventories in the U.S., rather than selling down current stocks and further increasing exports,” the letter read. “If that is not the case, the administration will need to consider additional Federal requirements and emergency measures.
Oil companies, boosted by increased exports amid surging global demand, boasted record profits in their second-quarter earnings reports.
Biden promised to send more oil and gas to Europe in May to reduce its reliance on Russian energy exports as well as ameliorate its ongoing energy crisis that is being exacerbated by the invasion of Ukraine. However, the administration’s letter calls for American companies to cut exports and save fuel to address America’s crisis.
The White House is worried about the steady drop in inventories of refined oil products like petroleum or diesel as shortages of these products may greatly affect vulnerable consumers, according to the letter. Granholm hopes that refiners’ will build up reserves to benefit consumers who are vulnerable to supply disruptions that might be caused by hurricanes or other disasters.
“On the East Coast gasoline inventories are at their lowest levels in nearly a decade,” Granholm said. “Diesel inventories are nearly 50% below the five-year average across the region.”
Consumers are also suffering the effects of high gas prices and rampant inflation, despite the average national gas price declining for more than a month, partly due to falling demand. However, the price of gas is still roughly 74 cents higher per gallon than its highest point in 2021, according to AAA data.
The White House did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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