President Joe Biden ridiculed oil company CEOs on Tuesday for criticizing his energy policies as gas prices hit record highs in the United States.
In a letter to the president on Tuesday, Chevron CEO Mike Wirth criticized Biden and his administration for being more willing to “criticize, and at times vilify, our industry.”
“These actions are not beneficial to meeting the challenges we face and are not what the American people deserve,” Wirth wrote.
When asked to respond to the letter, Biden mocked oil CEOs for criticizing him after he said he was considering using his emergency war powers to increase gas production.
“I didn’t know they’d get their feelings hurt that quickly,” Biden said, calling Wirth and other CEOs “mildly sensitive” for their response.
ExxonMobil urged Biden in a statement to waive regulations and fuel specifications to increase supplies of gas as well as support energy pipeline infrastructure, lease sales, and streamlined regulations.
But Biden insisted the United States could continue producing more gas and diesel even while transitioning to clean energy.
“Look we need more refining capacity,” Biden said. “This idea that they don’t have oil to drill and bring up simply is not true.”
The president said oil companies needed to “work something out” so they could refine more gasoline and transition to clean energy at the same time.
“They’re both within the realm of possibility,” he said.
Biden further indicated he was seriously considering a gas tax holiday, explaining he was not concerned about temporarily cutting funds from federal infrastructure spending.
“It’s not like before,” he said, noting that he had just passed $1.2 trillion in spending on infrastructure.
“Look it will have some impact, but it’s not going to have an impact on major road construction and major repairs,” he said.
The president again said he would make a decision on the gas tax holiday by the end of the week.