Energy and the Environment – Biden looks to check oil revenues ahead of midterms | Whuff News

President Biden is stepping up his criticism of the oil industry ahead of the midterms and amid the sector’s huge profits.

Meanwhile, the US and the UAE are looking to encourage investment in green energy, and the UK leader is also considering attending the world climate summit.

This is Overnight Energy & Environment, your source for the latest news on energy, the environment and beyond. On the Hill, we’re Rachel Frazin and Zack Budryk.

Biden Holds Oil Profits Ahead of Election Day

The Biden administration is taking big profits from oil companies as they look to give voters an answer to higher gasoline prices before next week’s midterms.

President Biden has always wanted to blame business for high prices, but he has stepped up his rhetoric after the big profits.

And while analysts say that large areas of the price are set by the world oil market, not by independent companies, the optics of a large profit while the Americans are trying to fight inflation gives the administration something to cling to.

In total, the seven major oil and gas companies combined raked in tens of billions of dollars in third-quarter profits, according to recent earnings reports.

“If these companies were taking average profits from refining, instead of the profits they’re making today, gas prices would be down about 50 cents,” Biden said Tuesday.

Other figures:

  • BP on Tuesday reported $8.2 billion in the third quarter, up from $3.3 billion in the same period last year. British oil has announced it will increase its stockpile by up to £8.5bn this year and pay around £800m in new UK-made air taxes.
  • Last week, ExxonMobil reported a record $19.7 billion in quarterly earnings, while Chevron and Shell also posted big numbers – $11.2 billion and $9.5 billion, respectively.
  • Other energy titans reported big earnings on Tuesday. Marathon Petroleum posted a $4.5 billion profit, an increase of nearly 550 percent compared to the third quarter of last year. Phillips 66 reported $5.4 billion in third-quarter profits, a 1,000 percent year-over-year increase.

Mr Biden, during a speech on Monday, denounced higher wages as a “war spirit” citing the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in driving up oil prices. He threatened “higher taxes on their excess profits” and “other restrictions” if companies do not increase production.


Democrats are struggling to craft a winning midterm message as voters cite inflation as their top issue ahead of abortion and other topics ahead of Election Day.

  • Prices rose 8.2 percent in the last year ending in September, driven by rising gas, rent and food costs that are draining Americans’ bills.
  • Biden has often sought to blame the oil industry, and has called on companies to do more.

Tom Kloza, global head of energy analysis at the Oil Price Information Service, said oil producers were “reserved” in their approach to new production, despite recent high prices, as there was a risk of volatility.

“The shale oil boom hasn’t taken off the way a lot of people thought it would,” he said.

“I don’t think they are breaking any rules, but almost every one of them was very wise, not wanting to go through another boom and bust period,” he added to the industry.

Kloza said the industry – and discussed oil refiners in particular – is benefiting from the current climate. But, he described it as similar to the high profits made by various industries under capitalism, rather than being unique to oil.

“Sometimes capitalism can be really extreme in terms of what people do and how much profit is made. That is probably true of pharmaceutical companies. It was true in the past for tobacco and it is true today for petrol,” he said.

Read more here, from Rachel and the Hill by Karl Evers-Hillstrom

US, UAE look to boost $100B in clean energy funding

The United States and the United Arab Emirates are partnering in an effort to promote $100 billion in clean energy funding for both countries and the developing world, the White House announced Tuesday.

The new Partnership for the Acceleration of Clean Energy (PACE) aims to deliver 100 gigawatts of clean energy worldwide by 2035 and focuses on developing renewable energy sources.

PACE is built on four pillars: clean energy innovation, distribution and supply chains; carbon and methane management; nuclear energy; and carbon removal from industry and transport.

  • The US and the UAE plan to establish a group of experts to measure progress in achieving the goal of making 100 billion dollars in investment.
  • The US and the UAE will bring together a group of experts who will focus on selecting priority projects and removing potential obstacles.

A press release from the UAE said the effort would involve combining both private and public funding.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement on PACE that Biden is preparing to go to Egypt for COP27, the annual United Nations climate conference that begins on November 6.

The UAE will host COP28 in 2023.

Read more from The Hill’s Alex Gangitano.


British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s office has confirmed he will attend the COP27 climate conference, which begins this weekend in Egypt, days after saying the prime minister would not attend.

On Thursday, the spokesman for 10 Downing St. told the BBC that the newly appointed prime minister will not attend the United Nations assembly, citing “other pressing domestic commitments.”

However, on Monday, Sunak’s office appeared to back off, telling the broadcaster that Sunak’s plans were “under review.”

“The Prime Minister is focused on pressing domestic issues, which is largely preparing for the autumn report, so any attendance at the COP will depend on the progress of preparations for this financial event, and this work is ongoing,” said the spokesperson. “The Prime Minister fully recognizes the importance of the COP summit and is fully committed to addressing climate change.”

Appearing on the broadcaster’s “BBC Breakfast” show, British environment minister Mark Spencer said “the UK is very keen to play its part,” adding “that [Sunak’s] The diary allows him, he would like to go. ” Spencer was noncommittal when the BBC’s Jon Kay asked if he was “rubbing us to turn around.”

Read more about possible conversions here


  • US regulators want more data on Texas Freeport LNG plant before starting (Reuters)
  • What on Earth: How Environmental Fraud Came to Sports (Sports Graphics)
  • Nothing will change in the climate until the death toll rises in the west, says Gabon minister (The Watcher)
  • EPA determines water in Jackson, Mississippi, safe to drink two months after treatment plant failure (CNN)

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That’s it for today, thanks for reading. Check out The Hill’s Energy & Environment page for the latest news and coverage. We’ll see you tomorrow.

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