It’s not clear what the format of the meeting will be nor precisely when it will be held. A representative for the oil industry did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
In the Tuesday letter, Biden called for oil companies to boost supply of gasoline and slammed the high profit margins as “unacceptable” at a time when families are grappling with record-high prices.
Biden said he directed Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm to hold an emergency meeting on the issue and to engage with the National Petroleum Council, an advisory committee representing the oil-and-gas industry.
The oil industry quickly pushed back on the President’s arguments.
“We are surprised and disappointed by the President’s letter,” Chet Thompson, CEO of the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, said in a statement.
“Any suggestion that US refiners are not doing our part to bring stability to the market is false,” Thompson said. “We would encourage the Administration to look inward to better understand the role their policies and hostile rhetoric have played in the current environment.”
Biden and his administration have repeatedly blamed Russian President Vladimir Putin and his war on Ukraine for rising gas and energy prices, though experts also cite other factors, including high demand, clogged supply chains, rising housing costs and Covid-19 stimulus efforts, as reasons behind the surging prices.
The President this week acknowledged inflation and high food and gas prices are greatly affecting many American families, and conceded he is left without many options to fight the surging prices, particularly in a narrowly divided Senate that has blocked the bulk of his domestic agenda.