President Joe Biden accused Chevron CEO Mike Wirth of being “mildly sensitive” Tuesday after Wirth accused the administration of vilifying the gas and oil industry.
The comment came shortly after Wirth sent a response letter to Biden in which he argued the administration must change their approach if they want to lower gas prices. Wirth also said the Biden administration tries to “criticize, and at times vilify, our industry.”
“He’s mildly sensitive,” Biden said later Tuesday when confronted with Wirth’s accusation. “I didn’t know they’d get their feelings hurt that quickly.”
The president continued on to argue that the country needs “more refining capacity.” He also suggested the “idea that they don’t have oil to drill and to bring up” is false. (RELATED: ‘An Incredible Transition’: Biden Suggests Soaring Gas Prices Are Part Of Green Agenda)
“We ought to be able to work something out whereby they’re able to increase refining capacity and still not give up on transitioning to renewable energy. They’re both within the realm of possibility,” the president concluded. (RELATED: Biden Administration Halts New Oil And Gas Permits)
Biden first sent a letter to oil executives June 14, in which he criticized “the historically high profit margins” as unacceptable. The president urged companies to “work with” his administration in finding solutions and invited them to an emergency meeting hosted by Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, Reuters reported at the time.
While Wirth was critical of the Biden administration in his response letter, he noted that Chevron would attend the upcoming meeting with Granholm. Wirth urged Biden to have senior advisers at the meeting, as well, writing that this would provide for a “robust conversation.”
Chevron spokesperson Bill Turenne, Jr. suggested the company is remaining focused on the upcoming meeting with Granholm.
“Mike is looking forward to Thursday’s meeting with Secretary Granholm and is hopeful for a constructive conversation about actions to address the near-term issues and longer-term stability of energy markets,” he told the Caller in a statement after Biden’s remark.