U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm held a closed-door meeting with oil industry leaders Thursday to discuss ways to combat record-high fuel prices and expand refineries.
The meeting came after weeks of rising tensions between oil companies and President Biden, who has accused the former of profiting off of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Granholm’s office said she reminded the meeting participants – which included executives from Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Marathon and Phillips 66 – that they must “deliver solutions to ensure secure, affordable supply” because their customers, workers and communities “are feeling the pain at the pump because of Putin’s price hike.”
The group reportedly discussed their efforts to keep existing operations safely online and the need to reinvest into current and future technologies.
Granholm told oil executives that she hopes Thursday’s meeting will be part of an ongoing dialogue for more effective collaboration, the Energy Department said, adding that officials will continue to “pursue solutions that alleviate the current supply and price challenges” and will work with industry “to strengthen the country’s energy security for the long haul.”
While the meeting may have been more constructive than the hostility exhibited by President Biden in recent weeks, it did not produce a major breakthrough.
A source with knowledge of the meeting told FOX Business the participants discussed suspending the Jones Act, which requires shipping between U.S. ports to be done on American-made ships and with American crews.
There was no discussion by Secretary Granholm about possible new oil leases or about helping approve pipeline projects.
In a joint statement, the American Petroleum Institute and the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers said Thursday’s meeting “should send a positive signal to the market that the U.S. is committed to long-term investment in a strong U.S. refining industry and aligning policies to reflect that commitment.”
“Our industry will continue to seek opportunities to work with policymakers to unlock American energy, fuel economic recovery and strengthen our national security,” the groups said.
FOX Business’ Edward Lawrence contributed to this report.