Oil executives and industry groups said a meeting Thursday with Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm was “constructive.”
“Today’s meeting was a constructive conversation about addressing both short-term issues and long-term stability in energy markets,” said Mike Wirth, president and CEO of Chevron. , in a press release.
“We remain optimistic about our ability to work together to achieve these shared goals. We appreciate Secretary Granholm’s invitation to participate in the conversation, which has been an important step toward greater energy security, economic prosperity, and environmental protection,” he added.
The American Petroleum Institute and the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, which respectively represent the broader petroleum industry and petroleum refiners in particular, echoed similar sentiment.
“Secretary Granholm’s meeting with U.S. refiners today was a constructive discussion about ways to address rising energy costs and create more certainty for global energy markets,” said said a joint statement from the organizations.
A Department of Energy reading of the meeting also described it as “productive.”
“The meeting productively focused on dissecting current global supply and refining issues, generating an opportunity for industry to work with government to help provide needed relief to American consumers,” said said the department.
But the positive comments from both sides come at a time of tension between the Biden administration and the oil companies. In a recent letter to oil refiners, Biden criticized their high profits.
“In wartime, far above normal refinery profit margins passed directly to American families are not acceptable,” he wrote in a letter.
And ahead of the meeting, Wirth wrote a letter to Biden criticizing what he described as attempts to “vilify” the oil industry.
“Despite these efforts, your administration has largely sought to criticize, and at times vilify, our industry. These actions are not beneficial to addressing the challenges we face and are not what the American people deserve,” he wrote Tuesday.
Granholm was scheduled to meet with executives from ExxonMobil, Shell, Valero, Marathon, Phillips 66, BP and Chevron on Thursday.
According to the Department of Energy’s reading, attendees discussed what companies are doing to maintain existing operations and barriers to increasing domestic refining, in which oil is turned into gasoline.
They also talked about the need to reinvest in new technologies and hurricane preparedness.
Meanwhile, Granholm stressed that companies must “provide solutions” for a safe and affordable gasoline supply and that Biden is “ready to act quickly and decisively…on sensible recommendations.”
The Department of Energy reading also described the meeting as “part of an ongoing dialogue” and Granholm said his team should continue to work with oil companies.
Gasoline prices have fallen slightly in recent days but remain elevated, averaging $4.94 a gallon on Thursday.