Struggling with record inflation that’s been a drag on his administration and approval ratings, President Joe Biden on Friday accused the U.S. oil industry, and ExxonMobil in particular, of capitalizing on a supply shortage to fatten profits.
U.S. consumer inflation accelerated in May as gasoline prices hit a record high and the cost of food soared, leading to the largest annual increase in four decades.
Biden, who came into office vowing to reduce U.S. dependence on fossil fuels, said on Friday he was hoping to speed up oil production, which is expected to hit record highs in the United States next year.
But he also issued a warning to the industry, whose profits have jumped as it increased prices, in a sign that consumers are paying for more than just higher labor and shipping costs.
“Exxon made more money than God this year,” Biden said in a speech to dockworkers and union representatives at the Port of Los Angeles. U.S. oil companies are not using profits to drill more but to buy back stock, he added.