AFPM issued the following statement on the passage of California legislation that will empower the state’s unelected bureaucracy to impose an effective windfall tax and massive regulatory burden on the state’s remaining refineries. "...Add this legislative cocktail to the list of self-inflicted policy wounds for a state already bleeding people."
In a tight refined product market it has been U.S. refiners that have stepped up. Our industry ran full-out for most of 2022 making sure American consumers, our domestic economic centers and our allies had enough gasoline, diesel and jet fuel to keep everyone moving. Our refining sector leads the world in liquid fuel production and is effectively doing more than any other to bring better balance to the global market.
AFPM President and CEO Chet Thompson issued the following statement in response to President Biden’s State of the Union address: "Using the State of the Union to politicize market fundamentals and single out stock “buy back” programs—while overlooking the fact that the Biden administration’s own policies discourage the reinvestment of earnings back into the U.S. liquid fuel supply chain—cheapens the dialog for everyone."
Publicly owned companies, like many U.S. refineries, have a fiduciary responsibility (which is a legal obligation) to act in the best interest of their shareholders, and that extends to how companies spend their earnings. Often, earnings are spent on a combination of the following: direct dividends, stock buy back programs, paying down debt and capital investment projects.
AFPM's Geoff Moody issued the following statement responding to the EPA's 2023-2025 proposal for RFS blending obligations: “Congress provided EPA the ability to modernize the RFS and set it on a more sustainable course for all stakeholders. Sadly, EPA’s proposal is a missed opportunity..."
Restricting exports would be a major unforced error for the President, tightening global fuel supplies, throttling U.S. fuel production and increasing costs for American consumers. Likewise, imposing product inventory requirements boils down to siphoning gasoline and diesel into storage, and away from consumers.
AFPM President and CEO Chet Thompson issued the following statement regarding President Biden’s suggestion that a Windfall Profit Tax should be considered to address fuel supplies and prices: “Once again, the President is more worried about political posturing before the Midterms than he is about advancing energy policies that will actually deliver for the American people."
Governor Gavin Newsom continues to blame fuel refiners for California’s highest-in-the-nation fuel prices. He couldn't be more wrong. The problem and solution to much of California’s fuel price challenge can be found in Sacramento policy. Take a look to better understand the role of policy in regional price differences, why it’s inaccurate to equate “margins” or “refinery cracks” with “profits,” and why windfall profit taxes are a known policy failure.
Earnings in commodities-based industries tend to be cyclical. Because of the up-and-down reality of refining, it would be a mistake to regulate or legislate based on the high points. A few quarters of earnings don’t provide an accurate representation. That context is important for answering the question of what happens with refinery profits and whether using earnings to “buy back” stock from shareholders is an appropriate use of those funds.