Oil and gas profits triple under Joe Biden even as industry decries him

Oil and gas profits triple under Joe Biden even as industry decries him

Profits for the biggest US oil and gas producers have almost tripled under President Joe Biden, even as the industry berates his administration’s “hostile” policies and warns that a second term would be “disastrous” for the sector. 

The country’s top-10 listed operators by value, which will finish reporting their 2023 earnings this week, are on track to have amassed combined net income of $313bn in the first three years of the Biden administration, up from $112bn during the same period under Donald Trump.

Biden campaigned on the most ambitious climate platform of any US president in history, vowing to lead a “transition from oil”. On taking office he implemented a suite of policies that enraged the industry — from temporarily suspending new leasing for fossil fuel development on public lands to scuppering the Keystone XL pipeline. 

During his time in office, however, he has dialled back some of that initial rhetoric, urging the industry to drill more to counter high prices at the pump and encouraging liquefied natural gas exports to stem an energy crisis in Europe. 

“To quell inflation, Biden has supported record production to keep oil and gas prices down, even while favouring greater gas exports to help the EU,” said Paul Bledsoe, a lecturer at American University and former climate adviser to the Bill Clinton administration. “You can’t do better than that from a Democratic president.”