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All the slaps of the US to Europe on the export of fuel

All the slaps of the US to Europe on the export of fuel

The US Minister of Energy asks American companies to limit the export of fuel in order to give priority to the filling of stocks. Facts and comments

Last week, US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm sent a letter to America's seven major oil refiners asking them to limit fuel exports.


The document was not made public by Joe Biden's administration, but the Wall Street Journal obtained a copy. In the letter, the secretary writes that on the east coast of the United States, gasoline stocks are at their lowest for almost ten years, while those of diesel are about 50 percent below the average of the last five years.


"Given the historical level of US exports of refined products," writes Granholm, "I urge you once again to focus in the short term on building inventories in the United States, rather than selling current inventories and further increasing exports." .

Then he adds: “We hope that companies will proactively address this need. If not, the administration will have to consider additional federal requirements or other emergency measures. "


The Wall Street Journal compares the secretary's words to threats. And he remembers last June when Biden asked refineries to immediately lower gasoline prices, as if to impose political will over the free market.

Gasoline prices in the country fell today to $ 3.88 a gallon from $ 5 in mid-June, but the reasons lie in the global decline in demand for fuel (given the high price) and crude oil, which has become more expensive. in the world given the strengthening of the dollar.


Although Americans are driving less, the Wall Street Journal writes, storage is low and hurricane season is approaching when Gulf Coast refineries are likely to be damaged and forced to close. The Biden administration – according to the reconstruction of the financial daily – fears that a drop in refining capacity could cause a rise in gasoline prices and create political damage to the president and the Democratic Party in the run-up to the November elections.


According to the Wall Street Journal , "the problem is not exports" but "the political and regulatory assault on US production and refining". The closure of the Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery in 2019 after an explosion left the Northeast without a refining capacity of 335,000 barrels per day, making the region more dependent on Gulf Coast refineries or foreign ones.

The newspaper then writes that fuel storage levels in the Northeast would be much higher if the state of New York had not carried out a campaign to block gas pipelines, which have made the region more dependent on oil to meet energy needs: one in three New Englanders still uses oil to heat their home; in August, New York state generated more electricity from oil than from wind or solar.


Granholm's letter also represents – according to the newspaper – “a slap in the face to the European allies” who are trying to reduce energy dependence on Russia: the Russian one represents 30% of the oil imported by the European Union.

However, the European crisis is primarily linked to the supply of natural gas (Moscow, again, is worth 40 per cent of the total imported). American companies are actually greatly increasing their liquefied gas exports to the continent to take advantage of the skyrocketing prices, contributing to the rise in gas prices in the United States .

The Wall Street Journal notes that some European countries are falling back on diesel, having difficulty in sourcing gas.

This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Start Magazine at the URL https://www.startmag.it/energia/granholm-lettera-limite-esportazioni-carburante/ on Fri, 26 Aug 2022 13:08:57 +0000.