June 15, 2022 – S&P Global
Biden seeks helps from US refiners to increase gasoline, diesel supply
By Janet McGurty
Policy-driven refining impacts
The AFPM, like other oil industry groups, puts much of the onus for the shutdown of refining capacity on US government policies, geared to phasing out petroleum use.
Chevron CEO Mike Wirth, speaking at the Bernstein 38th Annual Strategic Decisions conference on June 1, expressed his company's view, one which is echoed by other US refiners.
"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, whether you look at the CAFE standards for fuel efficiency in vehicles, you look at the renewable fuel standard or the California low carbon fuel standard to substitute biofuels or you look at EV tax subsidies, internal combustion engine, phase-out policies," Wirth said. "At every level of the system, the policy of our government is to reduce demand."
Robert Auers, a refined fuel analyst with RBN Energy, said June 15 that US refiners had no policy encouragement from the government to act as an incentive to keep marginal plants operational.
"Margins were basically below breakeven levels for a year and there was no government financial support to incentivize them to keep capacity online for the inevitable return of demand," he said.