Joe Biden accuses oil industry of making ‘more money than God’ as petrol prices hit record highs

·1 min read
US President Joe Biden  (AP)
US President Joe Biden (AP)

Joe Biden has accused the US oil industry of making “more money than God” as petrol prices in the country averaged more than $5 a gallon for the first time.

Talking about the Exxon Mobil Corp, he told reporters in Los Angeles they were capitalising on a supply shortages to maximise their profits.

He said: “Exxon made more money than God this year. Why aren’t they drilling? Because they make more money not producing more oil.”

But the firm said it has continued to increase its US oil, gasoline and diesel production, and had borrowed heavily to increase output while suffering losses in 2020.

Data from the American Automobile Association (AAA) showed the national average price for regular unleaded gas rose to $5.004 a gallon on June 11 from $4.986 a day earlier.

High gasoline prices are a headache for President Biden and his Democratic Party as it tries to keep its control of Congress with midterm elections coming up in November.

His administration has tried to lower prices by releasing a record number of barrels from the country’s strategic reservces and leaned on oil-producing countries to boost output but fuel prices have surged around the world.

The high prices for drivers come as major oil-and-gas companies post bumper profits. Shell reported a record quarter in May and Chevron Corp and BP posted their best numbers in a decade.

The UK has also seen record prices with the average price of a litre of petrol at UK forecourts at a new record of 183.2p on Thursday, according to data firm Experian.

The average price of a litre of diesel on Thursday was a record 188.8p.