Chevron Chairman and CEO Mike Wirth continues to push back against President Biden's repeated attacks on U.S. energy producers. On Thursday the head of the second largest U.S. oil company doubled down on calling for a stable regulatory environment for the industry.
During an appearance on FOX Business' "The Claman Countdown," host Liz Claman asked Wirth to respond to Biden's claims that oil companies are slow-walking production to keep prices elevated.
Wirth's response: "People are not holding back supply. People are not slow-walking anything — they're producing as much in the refining system as possible."
"Upstream production is growing and that's how the market works," he said. "The price signal, when it reaches this level in a commodity business — and look, we're price takers, we see high prices say ‘consume less, produce more’ — that's exactly what's underway right now. And I think it's part of the reason why we're seeing prices come down."
The Chevron chief said, "The industry is responding with increased production. We need to see rhetoric and messaging that indicates that our country supports increased production."
Wirth said Chevron has been in contact with the Biden administration to "try to find a policy framework that is stable and that encourages more investment" but pointed out that mixed messaging from the White House discourages corporate boards from making long-term investments.
Last month, Wirth sent a letter to Biden asking the president to end his hostilities toward oil companies, saying that addressing the global supply and demand imbalances aggravated by Russia's invasion of Ukraine will require "thoughtful action and a willingness to work together, not political rhetoric."
The president dismissed Wirth's plea during a press conference, calling the oil company head "mildly sensitive."
"I didn’t know they’d get their feelings hurt that quickly," Biden said. "Look, we need more refining capacity. This idea that they don’t have oil to drill and to bring up is simply not true."
He added: "We ought to be able to work something out whereby they’re able to increase refining capacity and still not give up on transitioning to renewable energy. They’re both within the realm of possibility."
FOX Business' Bradford Betz contributed to this report.