Russia-Ukraine war: Oil company executives CEOs set to testify before Congress amid skyrocketing gas prices

WASHINGTON, DC – Six oil executives are due to testify in the Capitol on Wednesday over rising gas prices amid a battle of political messages over pump pain.

The executives of BP America, Chevron and ExxonMobil are among the leaders of “Big Oil” who will face questions from lawmakers about the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Supervision and Research.

The hearing comes as gas costs rose after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which prompted the United States to ban imports of Russian oil and gas. Although the price of gas has fallen slightly in recent days, Americans were still paying an average of $ 4.17 as of Tuesday, according to the American Automobile Association.

SEE RELATED HISTORY: Biden uses oil reserves for 6 months to control gas prices

Politicians on both sides of the aisle continue to quarrel over who is to blame.

Democrats have worked hard to identify Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as the source of the rise in gas prices, with President Joe Biden coining it as a “Putin price hike.”

Republicans, on the other hand, are quick to argue that the higher costs began long before the war began and that Biden’s energy policies are hurting Americans’ pockets. Others accuse oil companies of exploiting consumers by not lowering gas prices even though oil prices have fallen.

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Patrick De Haan, head of Petroleum Analysis at GasBuddy, told ABC News that the reasons behind the cost of gas are more complex than any of these narratives suggest.

“There are too many political games being played at too many political points trying to win. Neither side is portraying it accurately,” he said. “There are a lot of factors that affect this issue and politicians on both sides of the aisle, you know, just use buzzwords and phrases and use creepy, established discussion points from their own parties …”

De Haan also noted the “extremely volatile” situation in which gas companies find themselves in relation to fluctuations in oil prices.

“Stations do not want to cut prices right now. Not necessarily because, you know, they are greedy or something, but because the market is extremely volatile,” de Haan said, adding that “if they were going through a day cut, they could they need to raise prices another 25 to 50 cents the next day if the market goes up again. “

Instead, he said, “the stations are actually smoothing out the incredible instability and carefully going through the reductions as soon as they are sure they will not have to raise prices again.”

PolitiFact also noted that “oil and gas price experts say it may take weeks for gasoline prices to respond to changes in crude oil costs” and that “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the “Rising labor costs, the pandemic and additional taxes and inflation have all contributed to rising petrol prices.”

Richard Wiles, chairman of the Center for Climate Integrity, a nonprofit that focuses on climate policy and holds companies accountable, says Democrats are not wrong in blaming Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“Democrats are not coming up with anything to point out that this is a really sharp example of what dependence on oil and gas would bring you. That’s right. And oil companies, they do not care at all,” he said. .

But Wiles noted that the rising cost of gas began long before the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“Oil companies are bad at war and peace,” he said.

ABC News contacted all six oil companies expected to file on Wednesday, but none commented.

As the executives of the oil company face members of Parliament, lawmakers are also trying to pass legislation to provide immediate relief as a subsequent interim period is fast approaching.

Most recently, Biden announced the release of 1 million barrels of oil a day from oil reserves to combat high gas prices. However, senior White House officials could not say how soon the Americans would begin to feel relieved.

In a weekly press conference last week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Congress is trying to help if the benefit goes directly to consumers, most likely in the form of a discount card or direct payment.

And some progressive Democrats are renewing their push for more long-term investment in renewable energy to end their dependence on oil.

For their part, House Republicans in the Natural Resources Committee unveiled a package last week that overturns the Biden administration moratorium on federal land and offshore lease sales.

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Russia-Ukraine war: Oil company executives CEOs set to testify before Congress amid skyrocketing gas prices Source link Russia-Ukraine war: Oil company executives CEOs set to testify before Congress amid skyrocketing gas prices

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