Biden Says Oil Companies Shouldn’t Buy Back Shares in Wartime

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(Bloomberg) — President Joe Biden said US oil producers shouldn’t be returning record profits to shareholders via higher stock buybacks and dividends while Russia wages war in Ukraine, stepping up his administration’s criticism of the energy industry and its role in high gasoline prices.

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“My message to the American energy companies is this: You should not be using your profits to buy back stock or for dividends,” Biden said Wednesday at the White House. “Not now, not while a war is raging.” 

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The windfall should instead be used by oil companies to boost production, to help bring down fuel prices for consumers, he said in remarks. Gasoline prices haven’t declined recently as quickly as crude oil prices, he added, repeating a line he has previously used to attack the industry.

“Bring down the price you charge of the pump to reflect what you pay for the product,” he said. “You still make a significant profit, your shareholders will still do very well.”

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