Oil stocks were on the move Wednesday as crude oil prices pulled back from recent highs and U.S. President Joe Biden said he will push for a suspension of the federal gasoline tax.
WTI crude oil prices dropped 3.4% to around $105.70 per barrel on Wednesday morning, sending the United States Oil ETF USO down 3.1%. Biden is expected to ask Congress on Wednesday to approve a tax cut on fuel as tensions between the White House and the oil industry rise.
Tax Cut Proposal: Biden’s plan is reportedly to suspend the federal gas tax of 18.4 cents per gallon and call on individual states to suspend their gas taxes as well.
Biden has invited seven oil company CEOs to discuss increasing production capacity to help bring fuel prices down.
In a letter to Biden, Chevron Corporation CVX CEO Michael Wirth called out Biden for his past treatment of the U.S. oil industry.
“Your administration has largely sought to criticize, and at times vilify, our industry,” Wirth said. “These actions are not beneficial to meeting the challenges we face.”
Market Movers: Several oil stocks were among the biggest market movers on Wednesday in response to the pressure on oil prices:
- ConocoPhillips COP was down 6.6%.
- APA Corp (US) APA was down 7.5%.
- Marathon Oil Corporation MRO was down 6.8%.
- Devon Energy Corp DVN was down 5.8%.
- EOG Resources Inc EOG was down 5.5%.
Benzinga’s Take: There’s no question it’s good for the U.S. to invest in clean energy technology to help reduce its dependence on fossil fuels in the future. Yet the country must continue to invest in oil and gas production to help bridge the gap to a clean energy future unless Americans want to continue to see energy prices skyrocket.