UPDATED 7:20 AM PT – Thursday, June 16, 2022
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said President Joe Biden is ready to use the Defense Production Act to boost America’s oil refinery capacity. Wednesday’s announcement came in unison with Biden firing off a letter to oil refining companies, demanding to know why they are not producing more fuel.
“He’s open to all reasonable uses of federal government’s tools to increase output and lower cost at the pump, including emergency authorities like the Defense Production Act,” Jean-Pierre confirmed to reporters.
The administration has claimed the lack of production is hurting its efforts to blunt the impact of the so-called “Putin price hike” at the pump. . In a letter to Exonn Mobil, Chevron and five other firms Wednesday, Biden said the companies must take immediate action to increase the gas and diesel supply. The President recently accused the oil companies of purposefully curbing supply to raise prices.
“The letter is intended to solicit companies best ideas on how to increase capacity and how the government can help them do it in the spirit of honest and pragmatic dialogue,” Jean-Pierre continued. “But we feel this is a good step for us to move forward, and hopefully we’ll come and get some solutions.”
Biden promised to end drilling & enacted policies to restrict oil.
But now he mails a letter to oil firms complaining they're not drilling enough?
This isn't just incoherence—it's chaos.
— Tom Cotton (@TomCottonAR) June 15, 2022
America’s refining capacity peaked in April of 2020 at just under 19 million barrels a day. For the White House Press Secretary’s full response regarding questions about whether or not Biden intends to invoke the Defense Production Act, watch the full briefing below.