US President Joe Biden continued to assail major gas companies on Friday amid soaring fuel prices, pointing to one in particular who he said has made exorbitant profits.
"Exxon made more money than God this year," Biden said at the Port of Los Angles, noting that oil companies have more than 9,000 permits to drill for oil, but are refusing to use them to ensure prices remain high.
"Why aren't they drilling? Because they make more money not producing more oil. The price goes up number one. And number two, the reason they're not drilling is they're buying back their own stock," he added.
Gas prices remain at record levels, having increased by nearly 50% since 2021. Currently, a gallon of gas sits at about $4.99, according to the Automobile Association of America.
The president's comments come hours after the US Department of Labor published inflation numbers of 8.6% in May, the highest since December 1981. The figure was above market forecasts of 8.3%.
Prices for food and energy largely fueled the surge.
Energy prices rose 34.6% on an annual basis, the most since September of 2005, and food costs soared 10.1%, the first increase of 10% or more since the period ending March 1981.
In recent weeks some Fed officials also said inflation in the country is comparable to levels seen in 1974 and 1983, when US consumers felt a tight squeeze from high prices.