New York billionaire and refiner John Catsimatidis, who owns hundreds of gas stations, blasted President Joe Biden’s pinning the blame on high prices at the pump on gas station owners, arguing there’s only one solution for inflation—boosting production of crude.
‘Ridiculous to Put It on Us’Catsimatidis reacted to Biden’s remarks by defending gas station owners, arguing that they’ve been “making the same margin that we’ve been making forever” as they have to cover payroll and pay rent, electricity bills, and other operating expenses.
While the margin gas station owners make fluctuates several cents one way or the other, Catsimatidis said it’s “ridiculous to put it on us. We’re not the ones that created the problem.”
The price of gasoline has nearly doubled since Biden took office, with the president variously blaming oil industry greed, a lack of refining capacity, global supply shortfalls set against a sharp post-pandemic rebound in demand, and the war in Ukraine.
Some experts and industry insiders have argued that the Biden administration’s anti-fossil fuel policies have discouraged companies from investing in refining capacity.
“Nobody’s willing to invest in expanding refinery capacity because the outlook from everything that the government has said is you won’t get the approvals,” he added.
“We’ve seen refineries closed. We’ve seen units come down. We’ve seen refineries being repurposed to become bio refineries. And we live in a world where the policy, the stated policy of the U.S. government is to reduce demand for the products that refiners produce,” Wirth said.
‘No Denying Biden Has Some Blame’Oil prices have retreated over the past two weeks amid broad market concern over an economic slowdown as soaring inflation has pushed central banks to tighten financial conditions by hiking rates.
Several weeks ago, that figure stood at over $5 a gallon, while a year ago, the national average for a gallon of gas was $3.095.
Some gasoline market experts, like GasBuddy analyst Patrick De Haan, predict further drops.
What’s De Haan’s take on Biden’s role in high prices at the pump?
‘Open Up the Spigots’For his part, Catsimatidis said in the interview on Fox that there’s only one fix for the current inflationary spike—a big part of which is due to soaring energy costs.
“We have 100 years’ worth of oil,” he said. “Open up the spigots.”
“If we open up the spigots and flooded the market with oil, with crude oil, American crude oil, we bring the price of oil back” and “inflation goes away,” Catsimatidis said.