Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) sparred with a gas lobbyist on Wednesday, who claimed that Democratic attacks on Big Oil undermine efforts to bring down gas costs.
Major oil firms, which reportedly made $35 billion in the first few months of the year, were criticized by King during a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee hearing for profiting off of the economic hardship experienced by many Americans.
The White House has maintained that thousands of existing permits are underutilized and that oil corporations could increase production if they so choose in response to Republican demands for the Biden administration to issue additional drilling licenses in order to enhance domestic production.
Such attacks, according to Ron Ness, president of the North Dakota Petroleum Council, are wrong because producers need $20 million in investment capital every day to “significantly” expand production.
King questioned, “You talk about a lack of capital.” “To me, it appears to be a sizable amount of money.”
Ness retaliated, claiming that the criticism of the fossil fuel industry by Biden and others, along with the well-publicized cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline, was making investors “hesitant” to contribute the money required to increase output.
King scoffed, claiming Big Oil had enough capital but was giving it back to shareholders instead of putting it toward boosting output. Furthermore, he rejected the notion that the president was frightening off investors.
Angus King questioned Ness, “Is your industry actually scared of Joe Biden?” “I’m serious, though. Your entire industry will be driven by the comments because you talk rhetorically. I’ve never had anything like this before.
“We’ve been attempting to move away from fossil fuels for a while. All of a sudden, you’re saying that the Keystone pipeline’s cancellation, which would have prevented it from operating for a very long time, kind of sends a shockwave through the sector,” King continued.
President Biden criticized Exxon for its profits at the start of June, claiming the business was making “more money than God this year” despite skyrocketing petrol costs.
The government made an effort to halt inflation. Why doesn’t it work? To safeguard whales, prohibit the use of lobster fishing equipment.
“Exxon, begin to invest. Pay your taxes now, Biden continued.
Ness asserted that such messages have an effect on the sector and contended that Biden should have instructed federal agencies to “do everything within the law to encourage and facilitate production” instead. This, she claimed, would have helped boost supply and bring down prices.
He declared, “We must not lose sight of the fact that energy security is national security.
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