Good Luck With That Hearing

By March 31, 2008Energy, Global Warming

The House Energy Independence and Global Warming Committee has no real legislative authority, but it’s a bully pulpit for its chairman, Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA). On Tuesday, Markey will have seated in the pews five top oil industry executives, testifying at a hearing, “Drilling for Answers: Oil Company Profits, Runaway Prices and the Pursuit of Alternatives.” (Markey’s news release.)

No one will be surprised at the tenor of the questioning.

From DowJones:

Federal lawmakers are sustaining their ongoing attack on Big Oil. Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., chairman of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, is on Tuesday expected to lambast oil executives for high oil prices at a panel hearing.

“This gas price record is a perfect example of why we need these oil companies to go on the record with the American people to discuss our dangerous dependence on oil,” Markey ahead of his hearing. “These companies are defending billions in federal subsidies needed for renewable fuels and clean energy while reaping over a hundred billion dollars in profits in just the last year alone.”

We have every confidence in the executives’ ability to defend the oil industry if given a fair opportunity to respond to questions. One question we’d like fully addressed: How will increasing taxes on energy production by $18 billion encourage further domestic exploration and development?

Oh, and here’s another: How will increasing energy taxes improve prices at the pump?

But perhaps those are best directed at Chairman Markey.

The five executives scheduled to testify:

Mr. J. Stephen Simon, Senior Vice President, Exxon Mobil Corp.
Mr. John Hofmeister, President, Shell Oil Company
Mr. Robert A. Malone, Chairman and President, BP America, Inc.
Mr. Peter Robertson, Vice Chairman, Chevron
Mr. John Lowe, Executive Vice President, ConocoPhillips

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