We are surprised and disappointed by the President’s letter. Any suggestion that U.S. refiners are not doing our part to bring stability to the market is false. We would encourage the Administration to look inward to better understand the role their policies and hostile rhetoric have played in the current environment.
The United States has the most complex and efficient refining industry in the world, but we also have less refining capacity than we used to. Where the issue of refining capacity is concerned, it’s important to understand what refining capacity is, why we’ve lost capacity in the United States and how policies can advance the competitiveness of our refineries in the global market.
Oil markets are famously sensitive to uncertainty. Global conflict can send prices higher on concerns that crude oil supplies could be disrupted. This is playing out in response to Russia’s unprovoked acts of war against Ukraine. Russia is a major supplier of crude oil and other energy products globally, though less so in the United States. In recent days, many market participants have committed to stop purchasing Russian oil. Shipping companies are concerned about loading cargoes from Russia and some shippers are finding the cost associated with such cargoes too high. These moves are tightening an already tight market.
SPR releases cannot be the center of this Administration’s strategy to confront inflation and high energy prices. At best, SPR releases are a short-term fix, they are not a solution. Stability and certainty is what global crude oil markets crave.