President Biden delivers remarks on oil companies and current gas prices — 10/31/22

Note: This speech was transcribed and proofread by SpeakWrite professionals . As with all SpeakWrite transcripts, no AI was utilized to transcribe this speech.

President Biden:         Well, good afternoon.  This is a very short statement, but a consequential one, in my view.  Putin’s invasion of the Ukraine in March, set gas prices soaring literally around the world, not just here, but around the world, and because of the action we’ve taken since then, gas prices have actually come down, going into the strategic petroleum reserve, here at home in America.  They’re down more than a $1.20 since their peak this summer, and they’ve been falling for the best of, the best part of the last 3 weeks.  In June, the average price, not the most common price, but the average price nationwide was, uh, was over $5.00 a gallon.  Today, the average price for a gallon of gas is $3.76.  That’s adding up to real savings for American families, the difference between those prices, and this difference, uh, makes a difference in a difficult time.  Americans across the country have stepped up and they, to do the right thing, but not everyone has stepped up.  The oil industry has not.  It has not met its commitment to invest in Americans and support the American people.  One by one, major oil companies have reported record profits, not just a fair return on it for hard work.  Every company is entitled to that, a fair return for the work they do, innovation they generate.  It means, but I mean profits so high it’s hard to believe.  Now, the second quarter of the profits were really high, but the third quarter, last week Shell announced that it made $9.5 billion in profits for the third quarter; 9.5 billion.  That’s almost twice as much as it made in the third quarter of last year.  I think that’s something.  Do you think that’s incredible?  I thought, my, that, that’s as good as, as high as it’s gonna get.  Then along came Exxon.  Exxon’s profits for the third quarter were at $18.7 billion; one quarter, $18.7 billion, nearly triple what Exxon made last year, and the most in its 152-year history.  It’s never made that much profit.  In the last 6 months, six of the largest oil companies have made more than 100 billion; 100 billion, and we had a little discussion about this, the three of us, and others.  100 billion in profits, in 200, less than 200 days.  That’s not bad, and why, and here’s why this m, here’s why this matters.  I think it’s outrageous, what they’re, they’re, the, the size of the profits.  Here’s what matters.  If these companies were making average profits they’d been making by refining oil over the last 20 years, instead of the outrageous profits they’re making today, and if they’d passed the rest onto the consumers, the price of gas would come down around an additional $0.50.  If they’re investing their profits in historic, at historic rates in their U.S. operations, then America would be producing more oil today, and prices would be down even further, but rather than increasing our investments in America or giving American consumers a break, their excess profits are going back to their shareholders, and they’re buying back their stocks, so  the executive pays are go, are gonna skyrocket.  Give me a break.  Enough is enough.  Look, I’m a capitalist.  You’ve heard me say this before.  I have no problem with corporations turning a fair profit or getting a return on their investment and innovation, but this is not remotely what’s happening.  Oil companies’ record profits today are not because of doing something new or innovative.  Their profits are a windfall of war, the windfall from the brutal conflict that’s ravaging Ukraine and hurting tens of millions of people around the globe.  You know, at a time of war, any company receiving historic windfall profits like this has a responsibility to act beyond their narrow self-interest of its executives and shareholders.  I think they have a responsibility to act in the interest of their consumers, their community, and their country, to invest in America by increasing production and refining capacity, because they’ve had, they don’t want to do that.  They, they had the opportunity to do that, lowering prices for consumers at the pump.  You know, if they don’t, they’re gonna pay a higher tax on their excess profits and face other re, restrictions.  My team will work with Congress to look at these op, these options that are available to us and others.  It’s time for these companies to stop war profiteering, meet their responsibilities to this country, and give the American people a break, and still do very well.  The American people are gonna judge who’s standing with them, and who is only looking out for their own bottom line.  I know where I stand, and I want to let you, I’m, you’re, you’ll hear more from me about this when the Congress gets back.  Thank you all very, very much. Appreciate it.

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