MEMO: Big Oil and its allies are raising gas prices & blaming President Biden. The solution? Growing the clean energy economy.
To: Interested Parties
From: Alex Witt, Senior Advisor of Oil and Gas, Climate Power
Date: September 13, 2023
Re: Big Oil and its allies are raising gas prices & blaming President Biden. The solution? Growing the clean energy economy.
Big Oil CEOs, petro dictators in oil nations like Saudi Arabia and Russia, and the inherent volatility of oil are sending gas prices up at the pump and at the meter. Make no mistake; Big Oil executives and their allies are to blame for high prices. We can never achieve energy independence while we remain addicted to Big Oil.
Gas prices are rising again – here’s why:
- Corporate greed: Despite U.S. production reaching record highs, oil executives are raising prices in order to shovel profits toward their wealthy stakeholders and executive bonuses.
- Foreign intervention: Saudi Arabia and Russia extended their oil production cut through December, sending prices up in the United States, adding to the spike created by Putin’s war in Ukraine.
- Volatility: Oil prices are inherently volatile; tied to the global market, supply, and the whims of foreign leaders. The price we pay for oil in America is determined by the world market—it’s a global commodity.
- The United States can never be truly energy independent and in control of our own energy security while we are dependent on volatile fossil fuels.
Oil and gas corporations are reaping the damage of the climate crisis they’ve caused as extreme weather downs refineries, and Big Oil CEOs only care about protecting their bottom line, even if it means price gouging consumers.
- After staying lower than expected over the summer, gas prices are starting to rise, driven in large part by extreme heat which, in turn, is driven by oil industry emissions.
- In Texas and Louisiana, extreme heat has impacted refineries’ production, raising gas prices.
- Oil and gas refineries across the country aren’t equipped to deal with increasing frequency and intensity of extreme weather — like the deadly heatwaves we’ve seen this summer — meaning the outages are likely to continue during peak demand, raising prices.
- Thanks to extreme heat, families across the country are watching their energy costs rise, and Big Oil corporations are seeing the implications of the climate impacts they’ve caused.
- Instead of increasing their current production or developing on the thousands of unused leases they already have from the government, oil and gas CEOs are using their record profits for stock buybacks for wealthy shareholders and executive bonuses for themselves.
The United States’ reliance on oil and gas opens us up to the whims of foreign nations and leaders, supply disruptions, and financial crises across the globe.
- As long as we stay addicted to oil, we will never achieve energy independence — even the American Petroleum Institute admits in its ads that oil prices are “impacted by geopolitics.”
- Just this year, oil prices have fluctuated in response to banking conditions in Europe, a real estate slump in China, OPEC’s production cut, and Russia’s attack on Ukraine.
Bottom line: clean energy is the only path forward for lower prices and energy independence.
- The U.S. can be truly energy independent if we speed up the production of clean renewable energy — like wind and solar — which will also lower prices for families.
- Wind and solar power produced in America stays in America, while fossil fuels can be loaded on ships and sent wherever oil CEOs stand to make the biggest profit.
- Solar and wind are the cheapest energy sources available and getting cheaper every year.
- Unlike oil, clean and renewable energy sources like wind and solar energy won’t ever run out and will provide a secure and stable energy supply long into the future.
- Reports show that it is cheaper to drive and own an electric vehicle; driving a gas-powered vehicle is approximately four times more expensive per mile than driving an EV.