Big Oil Once Again Abused by Congress

Includes: DBO, IEO, OIL, USO, XOP
by: Eric Schleien

Once again as prices at the pump skyrocket, big oil executives had to defend themselves against critics in Congress. These hearings aren’t a surprise though. Every time gasoline prices make a big move to the upside Congress howls in anger pointing the finger at an “Oil Company Conspiracy”. Of course any rationally minded human being would know gasoline and oil were all publicly traded commodities as is heating oil and natural gas.

One would think the Chairman of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming would have some insightful remarks to dispute the “evil oil company” claims, unless, of course, the one making the most foolish remarks was the Chairman himself. Rep. Ed Markey of Massachusetts demanded, “The American people deserve answers and it is time for Big Oil to go on the record about these record prices.”

“Given that the largest contributor to the cost of gasoline is crude oil, this has translated into record-high gasoline prices,” Peter Robertson, vice chairman of Chevron (NYSE:CVX) said.

He also wanted to know why big oil hadn’t put more money into alternative energies. Perhaps it didn’t cross his mind that he was questioning “Big Oil” hence the word “oil”. Maybe he should ask executives at Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) why they aren’t putting more money into Vitamins or why Exxon (NYSE:XOM) pays more taxes to the US Government then they have US revenue.

Why not ask why we push fuels with negative energy yields such as ethanol and hydrogen which do even more damage to the environment than the usage of gasoline? As someone who should have vast knowledge on the subject of the oil industry as well as alternative fuels and their contributions to pollution or lack thereof, these questions are nothing but disturbing as they show the lack of competence in Congress to one of the largest issues to not only the United States but the world.