Posts slamming US energy policy attributed to fictional BP executive

·2 min read

Social media posts claim a statement from a BP executive criticizes US energy policy by saying domestic production has been curbed in favor of imports. That is false; the company says the posts are not from BP, that no executive by that name exists, and the messages are identical to older posts from critics of President Joe Biden.

"We, the American people, have enough oil and gas under our feet to supply our demand and also export our products for years to come," says a Facebook post published June 5, 2022 that attributes the text to "BP Oil Executive Brice Cromwell."

The post continues: "The prices are high because the people who run our country have decided to import oil from another country instead of using our very own American made product."

Screenshot of a Facebook post taken June 6, 2022

The same message has been shared across Facebook and Twitter. Some of those reposting the message said the oil executive's comments bolster the argument that high fuel prices are the fault of the Biden administration.

But a BP spokesperson said it did not come from a company executive.

"We can confirm we do not currently have an employee with that name, and this text did not come from BP," Josh Hicks, US media relations manager for BP America, said in an email to AFP.

The posts come amid record-high fuel prices in the US, as well as heated political debate on the reasons for the surge. Biden's critics have said the president's policies are to blame because he reversed American "energy independence," a claim AFP has debunked as misleading.

The June 2022 posts use identical language to some published earlier in the year that do not mention the name Brice Cromwell. One published March 8, 2022 on Facebook came from an account called "Stop Joe biden."

Screenshot of a Facebook post taken June 6, 2022

AFP has previously fact-checked claims about the rise in global energy costs. Among the reasons for the spike include the war in Ukraine, policies from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and lower investment in production in recent years.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting