USA Energy Sec Leads Meeting with 7 Major Oil Companies

USA Energy Sec Leads Meeting with 7 Major Oil Companies
Granholm led an in-person meeting with CEOs and executives of seven major U.S. oil companies.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) confirmed Thursday that Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm led an in-person meeting with CEOs and executives of seven major U.S. oil companies at the DOE headquarters in the morning of June 23. 

Granholm reminded the companies that their consumers, workers, and communities are feeling the pain at the pump because of Putin’s price hike, and that at a time when Putin is using energy as a weapon, oil companies must deliver solutions to ensure secure, affordable supply, a DOE statement noted.

“The Secretary made clear that the administration believes it is imperative that companies bring supply online to get more gas to the pump at lower prices,” the DOE said in an organization statement.

“She reiterated that the President is prepared to act quickly and decisively, using the tools available to him as appropriate, on sensible recommendations,” the DOE added in the statement.

“At a time when the U.S. is achieving record oil production under the Biden administration, and President Biden is taking historic actions to add to that supply including releasing one million barrels a day from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and rallying the world to add an additional 240 million barrels, she reiterated the President’s call for them to do more to ensure that their companies are passing savings on to their customers,” the DOE continued.

The meeting took a productive focus on dissecting the current global problems of supply and refining, generating an opportunity for industry to work with government to help deliver needed relief to American consumers, the DOE stated. The group was said to have discussed what the companies are doing to keep existing operations safely online, the technical, economic, and policy hurdles to increasing domestic refining capacity, and the need to reinvest into current and future technologies.

According to the DOE, Thursday’s meeting will be part of an ongoing dialogue for more effective collaboration. Granholm directed her team to continue working with the companies, along with any other interested companies, to pursue solutions that alleviate the current supply and price challenges, and how industry can be better prepared for the future to strengthen the country’s energy security for the long haul, the DOE highlighted.

In a joint statement referring to the oil industry meeting with Granholm, the American Petroleum Institute (API) and American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) said, “Secretary Granholm’s meeting with American refiners … was a constructive discussion about ways to address rising energy costs and create more certainty for global energy markets”.

“While these challenges and their causes are complex, from Russia’s war in Ukraine to market imbalances leftover from Covid, productive outcomes … should send a positive signal to the market that the U.S. is committed to long-term investment in a strong U.S. refining industry and aligning policies to reflect that commitment,” the joint statement added.

“Our industry will continue to seek opportunities to work with policymakers to unlock American energy, fuel economic recovery, and strengthen our national security,” the API – APFM statement concluded.

In a press briefing by press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and Granholm on June 22, Granholm was asked what the administration was prepared to do if refiners didn’t play ball in the meeting. Responding to the question, Granholm said, “let’s just take it one step at a time”. 

“I believe that, you know, we are going into this to have an earnest conversation with them about what it would take. We know that there have been six refineries closed since 2020 … I think five of them in 2021 …  and we want to ask, ‘Is there capacity to bring something back online, to expand?’, so … let’s see how that conversation goes. I don’t want to assume anything,” Granholm added in the press briefing.

“We know that they are feeling the pressure not just from the administration, but from people out there about the price at the pump. And it’s important that they listen to their own employees, as well as the communities that they serve,” Granholm went on to say.

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