Washington launched a 'war' on North American oil: Billionaire supermarket owner

Billionaire supermarket owner slams Biden’s energy policies: ‘War by Washington on North American oil’

United Refining Chairman and CEO John Catsimatidis argues inflation ‘all starts with oil.’

United Refining Chairman and CEO John Catsimatidis, who is also the billionaire owner and CEO of New York City supermarket chain Gristedes, argued on Monday that "there is a war by Washington on North American oil."

Catsimatidis made the argument on "Cavuto: Coast to Coast" as the national average gas price has been hitting record highs and is expected to continue rising amid the energy supply crunch in the U.S.

The average price for a gallon of gasoline in the U.S. rose to a new record of $4.48, Monday, according to AAA. The price on Sunday was $4.47. 

Monday’s average was 15 cents higher than the week before, 40 cents higher than the month before, and $1.43 higher compared to the same time last year. 

On Wednesday it was revealed that inflation cooled on an annual basis for the first time in months in April, but rose more than expected as supply chain constraints, the Russian war in Ukraine, and strong consumer demand continued to keep consumer prices running near a 40-year-high. 

The Labor Department said Wednesday that the consumer price index, a broad measure of the price for everyday goods including gasoline, groceries and rents, rose 8.3% in April from a year ago, below the 8.5% year-over-year surge recorded in March. Prices jumped 0.3% in the one-month period from March.

United Refining Chairman and CEO John Catsimatidis argues that “there is a war by Washington on North American oil.” (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images / Getty Images)

Those figures were both higher than the 8.1% headline figure and 0.2% monthly gain forecast by Refinitiv economists.

The slight slowdown in inflation last month came as energy prices declined 2.7%, driven by a 6.1% drop in gasoline (which had climbed a stunning 18.3% the prior month as a result of the Russia-Ukraine war). 

Still, price increases were widespread: Food prices have jumped 1% over the month, marking the 17th consecutive monthly increase for that index. The largest monthly increases were in dairy (2.5%, the sharply monthly increase since 2007), meats, poultry, fish and eggs (1.4%) and cereal and bakery products (1.1%). 

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
USOUNITED STATES OIL FUND L.P.83.11+1.83+2.25%
BNOUNITED STS BRENT OIL FD LP UNIT32.77+0.82+2.57%

On Monday afternoon, benchmark U.S. crude gained $3.23 to $113.72 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the international standard, rose $2.35 cents to $113.90 a barrel. 

Oil prices peaked above $130 per barrel in March due to anxiety about the disruption of supplies from Russia, the world's No. 2 exporter.

Catsimatidis argued, Monday, that inflation "all starts with oil."

BIDEN STOPPED DOMESTIC OIL PRODUCTION 'WITH THE STROKE OF A PEN': REP. BRETT GUTHRIE

"When you double the price of oil, everything filters down to food; everything filters down to everything else," he said.

"North America has all the oil we need — except there’s a war by Washington on North American oil," Catsimatidis argued. "If you stop the war against North American oil, the inflation will go away."

"The food prices will come down. The gasoline prices will come down. Everything will open up."

Inflation ‘all starts with oil’: Billionaire supermarket owner

United Refining Chairman and CEO John Catsimatidis, who is also the billionaire owner and CEO of New York City supermarket chain Gristedes, argues ‘there is a war by Washington on North American oil.’

Catsimatidis' comments come on the heels of President Biden's various energy initiatives that have left many critics scratching their heads.

A TIMELINE OF BIDEN'S ACTIONS ON OIL AND GAS REVEAL WHERE HIS PRIORITIES ARE

In a series of orders aimed at combating climate change, President Biden cancelled the Keystone XL oil pipeline project on his first day in office and temporarily suspended the issuance of oil and gas permits on federal lands and waters. 



The administration resumed the new leasing last month following court challenges against the ban. The administration is appealing a ruling in which Judge James Cain, a Trump appointee, struck down the ban. 

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The White House has blamed Russian President Vladimir Putin for the record-high gas prices in the U.S., even coining the surge as the "#PutinPriceHike" and vowing that President Biden will do everything he can to shield Americans from "pain at the pump."

Biden, last month, announced that the Environmental Protection Agency will allow the sale of E15 gasoline – gasoline that uses a 15% ethanol blend – across the country this summer. In addition, Biden has moved to release 1 million barrels of oil per day from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve for the next 6 months. The president is also calling on Congress to make companies pay fees on idled oil wells and non-producing acres of federal lands, aiming to incentivize new production.

Critics, though, have claimed that Biden's actions on energy policy have created a "supply problem" in the market.

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FOX Business’ Tyler O’Neil and Megan Henney contributed to this report. 

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