US Congress Wants to Hear from Oil Companies about Rising Prices
The US Congress wants to hear from oil and energy companies about increased prices and the possible artificial perpetuation of those prices. Shell, ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP, Pioneer Natural Resources and Devon Energy must explain the matter to Congress next month.
The hearing is an initiative of Democrat Frank Pallone Jr., chair of a committee on energy and business. Pallone accuses the oil industry of artificially keeping prices and profits high. The companies do this “by keeping domestic oil production low and returning revenues to investors and executives.” This is stated in a letter he sent to top executives of the companies.
Pallone also believes that companies benefit too much from tax breaks for oil production. Those benefits ultimately come from the pockets of American taxpayers, the Congressman said.
Political pressure on the US oil industry to explain the limited production of crude oil in the country has increased recently. This is due to rising oil prices, partly because of the war in Ukraine. In addition, the United States recently announced it would stop importing fossil fuels from Russia because of the invasion of Ukraine.
On Wednesday, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer lamented the “staggering incongruity between falling oil prices and rising energy prices.” Schumer also warned at the time that the top executives of the major oil companies would be called to testify before Congress. The hearing will take place on April 6.