The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Karl Frisch, 202-580-5813

Oil Giant Executives In Hot Seat Over High Gas Prices


This morning at 10:30 a.m. ET, executives from oil giants BP America, Chevron, Devon Energy, ExxonMobil, Pioneer Natural Resources, and Shell will appear before the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee for a hearing titled, "Gouged at the Gas Station: Big Oil and America's Pain at the Pump." In advance of the hearing, government watchdog Accountable.US released the following statement:

"The oil giants testifying at today's hearing raked in an eye-popping $71.2 billion in profits last year, but rather than use that money to lower gas prices for American consumers struggling to fill their tanks, they showered wealthy executives and shareholders with billions in dividends and stock buybacks. They should be ashamed," said Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US. "These executives are exploiting the pandemic and war in Ukraine to pad their bottom lines. They are gouging consumers at the pump and rigging the system to avoid paying their fair share in drilling royalties on public lands, shortchanging taxpayers, public schools, and critical infrastructure like roads and hospitals."

Hearing Background:

  • Massive Profits: The six companies testifying today reported more than $71.2 billion in profits in 2021.
  • Billions to Shareholders, Not Consumers: They used over $38 billion of those record profits on shareholder dividends and over $8 billion on stock buybacks.
  • They Want High Prices: Many of the witnesses today are on the record celebrating high commodity prices for the benefit to their bottom line.
  • Buying Influence: Republican members of Energy and Commerce have taken over $11.5 million from the oil and gas industry in campaign contributions; all but one of the 26 have taken in at least five figures.

Accountable.US is a nonpartisan watchdog that exposes corruption in public life and holds government officials and corporate special interests accountable by bringing their influence and misconduct to light. In doing so, we make way for policies that advance the interests of all Americans, not just the rich and powerful.