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President Biden urged fuel retailers to reduce the prices at which they sell their products, once again noting the profits that oil industry players were making because of higher oil prices.
“My message is simple,” the U.S. president said, as quoted by Bloomberg. “To the companies running gas stations and setting those prices at the pump: Bring down the prices you’re charging at the pump to reflect the cost you pay for the product. Do it now.”
Gasoline prices in the United States have been on a decline for 14 weeks in a row, for which the Biden administration has congratulated itself but last week saw a reversal of the downward trend, with GasBuddy reporting prices added some 32 cents per gallon.
Any price rise at the pump as the midterm elections draw near is something the administration would rather not see, which could have prompted Biden’s latest address to the oil industry. He also didn’t forget to mention the billions in profits oil companies were making.
“Last month, the price of oil worldwide is down,” Biden said during a meeting of the White House Competition Council. “We haven’t seen the lower prices reflected at the pump, though. Meanwhile, oil and gas companies are still making record profits – billions of dollars in profit.”
Administration officials and legislators have also in the recent past wondered why when the price of crude oil falls, it takes weeks for the prices of fuels to fall, too. Oil industry executives have tried explaining how the upstream and the downstream segments work but this has not stopped the calls for lower prices.
The administration put a lot of effort into helping prices come down, chiefly with the release of a record 180 million barrels of crude from the strategic petroleum reserve, but prices eventually started declining following global trends, where fear of recession has come to dominate market behavior in the commodities segment.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.