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The House Energy and Commerce subcommittee has summoned the chief executives of six large U.S. oil companies for a hearing titled "Gouged at the Gas Station: Big Oil and America's Pain at the Pump."
The lineup includes the CEOs of Chevron, Devon Energy Corp, Exxon, and Pioneer Natural Resources. Also among those summoned was the head of Shell's U.S. operations and the chairman of BP America, Reuters reported.
According to a separate Reuters report, the CEOs of Devon Energy, EOG Resources, and Occidental Petroleum all declined to take part in the hearing, the chairman of the Natural Resources Committee has said.
Accusations of price-gauging on the part of oil companies have been circulating in U.S. legislative circles for months now. Senator Elizabeth Warren has been among the most vocal accusers. Earlier this year, she was among the sponsors of a bill proposing a windfall tax on oil companies for all the additional income they have made since oil prices started climbing.
"While Putin's war is causing gas prices to go up, Big Oil companies are raking in record profits. We need to curb profiteering by Big Oil and provide relief to Americans at the gas pump — that starts with ensuring these corporations pay a price when they price gouge, and using the revenue to help American families," Warren said earlier this month.
"Fossil fuel companies are not doing enough to relieve pain at the pump, instead lining their pockets with one hand while sitting on the other," said the chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Frank Pallone and Rep. Diana DeGette, chair of the House oversight and investigations committee.
"It's time we get to the bottom of why oil companies are content to watch Americans suffer so that their shareholders and executives can reap enormous profits," they added.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com