Washington (AB / Bloomberg) – The US Congress wants to raise prices from oil and energy companies and artificially maintain those prices. Shell, ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP, Pioneer Natural Resources and Devon Energy are due to explain the matter to Congress next month.
The inquiry was initiated by Democrat Frank Ballon Jr., chairman of the Committee on Energy and Commerce. Ballon blames the oil industry for artificially stabilizing prices and profits. Companies do this by “keeping domestic oil production low and returning returns to investors and executives”. This is stated in the letter he sent to the top executives of the companies.
Ballon also believes that companies are benefiting more from tax breaks for oil production. Those benefits will eventually come out of the pockets of US taxpayers, the congressman said.
Political pressure on the U.S. oil industry has recently increased to explain the limited production of crude oil in the country. This is due to the rise in oil prices and the war in Ukraine. The United States recently announced that it will stop importing fossil fuels from Russia due to the invasion of Ukraine.
Democrat Senate President Chuck Schumer lamented Wednesday about “a dazzling mismatch between lower oil prices and rising energy prices.” Schumacher also warned that top figures in the big oil companies would be called to testify before Congress. The trial is set to begin on April 6.
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