Biden AdministrationUkraine InvasionInflationEnergyCybersecurity

Biden trolled by oil industry group over ‘White House intern’s’ demand to slash prices at the gas pump

July 4, 2022, 2:54 PM UTC
U.S. President Joe Biden took on the fossil fuel lobby: Now it's time for payback.
Jakub Porzycki—NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The U.S. oil industry has President Joe Biden over a barrel and they know it.

On Sunday, a regional lobby group taunted the White House for demanding an end to price gauging at the fuel pump that is weighing on Americans’ pocket books with gasoline hitting the $5 mark for the first time last month. 

The US Oil & Gas Association (USOGA) told Biden it’s “working on it,” after the White House posted a warning on Twitter, but quipped that whoever handles the President’s official Twitter account could us a refresher course on basic economic principles.

“Please make sure the WH intern who posted this tweet registers for Econ 101 for the fall semester,” the USOGA tweeted. 

It follows earlier stinging criticism from Jeff Bezos, one of the world’s richest men and owner of the Washington Post, who called into question the administration’s grasp of supply and demand.

Biden had earlier told petroleum companies they should not be jacking up prices in order to capitalize on the war in Ukraine.

“Bring down the price you are charging at the pump to reflect the cost you’re paying for the product,” the President had written on Twitter. “And do it now.” 

Biden has put climate change at the top of his agenda, turning his back on carbon-intensive fossil fuels in favor of green renewable energy. In the process he angered powerful interest groups used to Donald Trump’s cozy ties with the coal and gas majors. 

USOGA is by no means the largest to defend the industry: Big Oil has traditionally been represented by the American Petroleum Institute (API), although France’s Total became the first multinational to quit the powerful lobby back in January 2021 just as Trump was leaving the Oval Office.

Kowtowing before the Saudis

Biden’s gamble to wean America off its addiction to fossil fuels backfired however after unprecedented global stimulus and a war waged by petroleum exporter Russia drove the price of gasoline to record levels. Now the industry has finally found a stick it can use to beat the President. 

This isn’t the first time Biden has been forced to eat crow for his progressive policies. 

Ties with the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman hit an all-time low after the President said just weeks into his term that he planned to “recalibrate” relations with the Kingdom following the grisly assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi henchmen. 

The surge in gas prices however prompted him to travel to Riyadh personally last month to ask Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for help in mitigating the crisis, a “mistake” according to respected journal Foreign Affairs.

The gas price crisis is a major issue in Europe as well.

Germany opted in favor of a three-month gas tax holiday—something briefly considered by Biden—while fuel protests were staged in the U.K. against the government on Monday.

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