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Record-high fuel prices in many countries could erode public support for an energy transition as consumers have started to identify the high prices with the green energy push, according to Chevron’s CEO Mike Wirth.
“One of the things I worry the most about is a period of high prices that voters begin to identify with energy transition ambitions,” Wirth said this week as carried by Reuters.
The accelerated timelines for renewable energy sources in response to governments’ ambitions to eliminate dependence on Russian energy amid the ongoing net-zero efforts could have an unintended consequence of lifting prices and slowing the transition, the chief executive of the U.S. oil and gas supermajor said.
“That can erode the public support that will be necessary for the energy transition,” Wirth said. “There is a bit of a paradox that I observe.”
The world needs policies to cut emissions, not restrict oil and gas production until it becomes self-sufficient in renewable energy, according to Wirth.
Chevron and other major U.S. producers have faced criticism, congressional hearings, and finger-pointing in recent months as the Biden Administration and Democrats are blaming Big Oil for the high gasoline prices and accusing energy firms of price-gouging.
The Biden Administration’s insistence that oil companies are manipulating the market led to a hearing at the House Committee on Energy and Commerce earlier this year, at which CEOs at the biggest oil corporations in America were grilled about their role in setting the gasoline prices.
In recent weeks, the rhetoric shifted to “Putin’s Price Hike at the Pump” after international crude oil prices surged to over $100 per barrel for the first time since 2014 following the Russian invasion of Ukraine at the end of February.
In the United States, the national average gasoline price is soaring and fast approaching the $5 a gallon mark. As of June 8, the national average was $4.955, a record high. Diesel was also at an all-time high of $5.719 per gallon.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.