Industry groups call refiners’ meeting with energy secretary ‘constructive’


(WO) ­— Major U.S. oil refiners met with U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm on Thursday to discuss rising energy costs and energy security.

The American Petroleum Institute (API) and American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) called the meeting “a constructive discussion.” Reuters reported that while no concrete solutions emerged, both sides promised to keep talking and working together in good faith.

“While these challenges and their causes are complex—from Russia’s war in Ukraine to market imbalances leftover from COVID—productive outcomes today should send a positive signal to the market that the U.S. is committed to long-term investment in a strong U.S. refining industry and aligning policies to reflect that commitment,” API and AFPM said in a joint statement. “Our industry will continue to seek opportunities to work with policymakers to unlock American energy, fuel economic recovery, and strengthen our national security.”

On Twitter Wednesday, Granholm shared President Joe Biden’s proposal of a federal gas tax holiday, saying it “could save consumers 18¢/gallon — and that’s in addition to everything else we’re already doing to help lower the price of gas for Americans.” In a rare moment of unity, the oil and gas industry and environmental groups have both starkly opposed the idea.

“The gasoline tax holiday would actually increase demand at a time when inventory is already tight,” Bloomberg reported John Hess, chief executive officer of Hess Corp., said Thursday in an investor presentation. “The key to getting oil prices under control is to grow inventory; you only do that by increasing supply and tempering demand.”

The average U.S. gas price was $4.940 a gallon Thursday, according to the American Automobile Association. That is down from an average of $5.009 a week ago.