Entries in Prices (2)


Senate Dems Call for Investigation into Potential Price Fixing

ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- In the latest move by Senate Democrats to target Big Oil for high gas prices, Sens. Claire McCaskill, D-MO, and Chuck Schumer, D-NY, on Tuesday called for the Federal Trade Commission to launch an investigation into potential price fixing by oil refiners.

"The irony is we've got more rigs drilling domestically than we've had in many many years. We've got higher production than we've had for a long long time. But they’re exporting more and they're cutting back on their capacity to deliver more gasoline into the supply chain," McCaskill said at a press conference this morning on Capitol Hill. "Now that is very hard for me to understand."

"Price is way up and they're only operating at 81 percent. Is there a link?" asked Schumer.

"We want the administration to focus on this area right away," he emphasized.

The request for an FTC probe comes as the Senate is set to hold a procedural vote on the Democrats' bid to scrap tax breaks for the five Big Oil companies. Democrats want to cut around $2 billion a year in tax subsidies for the five companies -- Shell, Chevron, BP, ExxonMobil, and ConocoPhillips -- and use the savings to pay down the federal deficit.

However, the Democrats' bill appears poised to go down to defeat due to widespread Republican opposition -- and even some Democratic opposition from senators like Louisiana's Mary Landrieu and Alaska's Mark Begich. Begich last week denounced the bill as "a gimmick" that his party’s leaders were using to make a "good political score," while Landrieu said the measure was "laughable." Critics charge the Obama administration is playing a shell game of sorts: announcing new drilling permissions the administration already knows the EPA will deliberately block by restricting permits to oil companies.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Gas Prices: Rep. Blumenauer Says No Change Soon

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Skyrocketing gas prices and earnings reports from major oil and gas companies this week have combined to again make energy policy and gas prices potent political issues.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer, sponsor of a bill that he says would strip $40 billion in subsidies from the largest oil companies over five years, told ABC News on Monday that Congress should stop giving tax breaks to companies that don’t need them.

“Our $8 billion a year that is handed to the oil interests does not affect a $2 trillion global price for oil. What it does is it just goes to the bottom line, and you see those profits at record highs,” Blumenauer, D-Ore., said.

“We should be using that money to reduce the deficit or to help develop alternative sources of energy that will be in America, that will not contribute to greenhouse gases and will improve efficiency in the long run. I mean, there's a win-win here, and most people understand it.”

But as for what can be done in the short term to address rising gas prices, Blumenauer was blunt: “The fact is there isn't anything that is going to change that tomorrow. I mean you could drain America dry of its oil. We only have two percent of the world's supply. We consume over 20 percent of it, and that's not going to happen overnight.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio