Joe Biden has urged domestic oil companies to ramp up production and criticized them for not making new investments, but the answer to rocketing gas prices is not that simple according to Chevron CEO Mike Wirth.
In a recent interview with Bloomberg TV, Wirth explained that he’s seen many oil refineries close in the US and that is causing a major problem.
“We've seen refineries closed. When I began my career, there were more than 250 refineries in the US. Today there's half that number and we've seen refineries close around the world,” Wirth said.
Firth was blunt when asked what message he would give to Biden officials on the matter.
“It puts the industry in a difficult spot because building a refinery is a multi-billion dollar investment. It may take a decade. We haven't had a refinery built in the United States since the 1970s. My personal view is, there will never be another refinery built in the United States, but you're looking at committing capital ten years out that will need decades in which to offer a return to our shareholders. In a policy environment where governments around the world are saying, 'we don't want these products to be used in the future.' And so there really is a dilemma.
We receive mixed signals in these policy discussions, and my message would be we need to sit down and have an honest conversation, a pragmatic and balanced conversation about the relationship between energy and economic prosperity, national security and environmental protection. We need to recognize that all of those matter - and we can't over index on just one.”
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