Congress Grills Oil Execs Over Skyrocketing Prices

Honchos place some blame at legislators' feet
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 1, 2008 5:21 PM CDT
Oil company executive, J. Stephen Simon of Exxon Mobil, left, accompanied by fellow executives.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
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(Newser) – Top oil executives faced a panel of angry lawmakers on Capitol Hill today, as Congress fumed over the disparity between the companies’ hefty profits and soaring prices, the Washington Post reports. Said one rep, “I believe the laws of supply and demand when it comes to oil and gas are broken and completely malfunctioning.” Another congressman referenced April Fools’ Day, hoping that “soaring gas prices are just part of some elaborate hoax.”

The five oil executives placed some blame back at the lawmakers’ feet, complaining of policies that bar companies from domestic drilling and thus, they said, depressing production. The bosses talked up alternative energy investment, but lawmakers were far from satisfied—demanding in particular that Exxon Mobil do more to end foreign dependence on oil.