Fri, 08 Dec 2023

WASHINGTON D.C.: After President Joe Biden warned the oil industry against price-gouging, White House officials and oil executives met late last week to discuss Hurricane Ian and gasoline inventories.

The White House requested the meeting with eight oil companies, which included Exxon Mobil, Chevron and Marathon Petroleum.

Due to tight supplies, unplanned outages at refineries and scheduled maintenance, retail gasoline prices have increased rapidly.

Meanwhile, the American Automobile Association said that the average retail gasoline price is 11 cents higher than last week, at $3.79 per gallon, but overall prices remain lower than last month.

In public comments, Biden has warned oil companies to not use Hurricane Ian as a pretext to raise gasoline prices, which have surged since the start of the year due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

"This small, temporary storm impact on oil production provides no excuse for price increases at the pump, none," Biden said.

Earlier this month, Hurricane Fiona took a heavy toll on Puerto Rico, while Hurricane Ian devastated Florida and later battered South Carolina.

The meeting was scheduled to include National Economic Council director Brian Deese, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm and Amos Hochstein, senior energy adviser at the State Department.

Exxon and Chevron declined to comment on the White House meeting, though in a separate statement Chevron said it "has zero tolerance for unlawful price gouging."

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