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Exxon CEO Woods Rejects Biden's Move Against Oil Companies

President Biden has pointed to oil companies as a possible scapegoat for our inflation,  Exxon's CEO Darren Woods wants none of it.
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President Joe Biden has pointed to oil companies as a possible scapegoat for the vicious inflation coursing through the economy, and Exxon Mobil  (XOM) - Get Exxon Mobil Corporation Report CEO Darren Woods wants none of it.

Last month, Biden asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate “potentially illegal conduct” in the oil and gas industry, saying there’s “mounting evidence of anti-consumer behavior by oil and gas companies.”

Mainstream economists say the notion of blaming inflation on big oil companies is laughable, and Woods agrees.

If you go back in history, every time we see the supply and demand imbalances get tight and prices rise, you see similar types of investigations,” he told CNBC. There’s “nothing” there, he said.

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“This is a commodity market. The prices are set by the amount of supply that’s out there, and by the amount of demand. If you restrict that supply and you don’t do anything about demand, I promise you prices will go up.”

Mainstream economists agree that inflation now stems from inadequate supply, thanks to supply chain disruption, and excessive demand.

That demand was kicked off by massive monetary and fiscal stimulus, though much of that stimulus was seen as necessary to save the economy from the ravages of the Covid pandemic.

As for oil prices, they have slumped since Biden authorized the sale of 50 million barrels from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve last week. Concern about the omicron Covid variant also has weighed on oil prices.

U.S. crude recently traded at $66.60, up 0.63%. It has slid 21% since Nov. 9, but is still up 37% year to date.