WASHINGTON, DC – Today, government watchdog Accountable.US called out the American Petroleum Institute for attempting to cash in on the crisis surrounding Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The nation’s largest oil and gas industry trade association today called on President Biden to accelerate drilling permits despite the fact that the industry is sitting on years’ worth of unused permits and leases. As President Biden noted last week, “American oil and gas companies should not exploit this moment to hike prices just to raise profits.”
American Petroleum Institute is once again exploiting crises to line the pockets of wealthy oil and gas industry executives. Rather than trying to make a quick buck on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by demanding additional permits when the industry is sitting on piles of unused permits and leases, Big Oil should use its billions in profits from the past year to limit pain at the pump for consumers.”
Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US
The American Petroleum Institute emphasized “geopolitical unrest” and “global energy security” in a letter to the Biden administration complaining about permitting delays following an injunction on the administration’s interim Social Cost of Carbon. API tried to capitalize on the Russian invasion as soon as it began, issuing a statement on the “role” of oil and gas producers during the crisis. But the Biden administration isn’t standing in the way of the oil and gas industry, approving more permits in its first year than the Trump administration while oil companies continue to sit on years’ worth of stockpiled permits and leases.
API has a long history of attempting to use crises to advocate for Big Oil’s agenda. The group’s CEO credited 9/11 with spurring the oil and gas industry to increase domestic oil production – he even used hypothetical stations about national security to highlight the purported importance of the industry. API also fearmongered that Keystone XL will allow the U.S. to take a stand against Venezuela. API’s CEO frames debates around energy as a choice between using American oil and gas or that of a hostile regime when touting API’s outreach to policymakers.