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Tipsheet

ExxonMobil 'Comes Out Swinging' in Response to Biden's Letter to Oil Companies

AP Photo/Richard Drew, File

ExxonMobil pushed back against the accusations President Biden lobbed against oil companies in his letter to executives this week.

The company said it has “invested more than any other company to develop U.S. oil and gas supplies” at a cost of more than $50 billion in the last five years. These investments have brought about a nearly 50 percent increase in the company’s U.S. production.

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“Globally, we’ve invested double what we’ve earned over the past five years -- $118 billion on new oil and gas supplies compared to net income of $55 billion,” the company said in a statement. “This is a reflection of the company’s long-term growth strategy, and our commitment to continuously invest to meet society’s demand for our products.”

Addressing the president’s accusation that companies did not restore refining capacity that was reduced at the start of the pandemic, ExxonMobil said it continued investing despite losses. 

“Specific to refining capacity in the U.S., we’ve been investing through the downturn to increase refining capacity to process U.S. light crude by about 250,000 barrels per day – the equivalent of adding a new medium-sized refinery,” the statement said. “We kept investing even during the pandemic, when we lost more than $20 billion and had to borrow more than $30 billion to maintain investment to increase capacity to be ready for post-pandemic demand.”

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Biden, attempting to shift blame from the effects of his oil and gas policies, blasted the companies for profiteering off the high prices and threatened that his administration may use “emergency authorities to increase refinery capacity and output in the near term.”

ExxonMobil, for its part, suggested ways the administration could help—including actually offering consistent support for the industry.

“In the short term, the U.S. government could enact measures often used in emergencies following hurricanes or other supply disruptions -- such as waivers of Jones Act provisions and some fuel specifications to increase supplies,” ExxonMobil said. “Longer term, government can promote investment through clear and consistent policy that supports U.S. resource development, such as regular and predictable lease sales, as well as streamlined regulatory approval and support for infrastructure such as pipelines.”

In responding to Biden's letter, Republicans reminded the president that rather than blame oil companies, he should "look in the mirror."

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