Home » World News » House Democrat says oil execs 'throwing up a smoke screen’ amid allegations of price gouging
House Democrat says oil execs 'throwing up a smoke screen’ amid allegations of price gouging
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Rep. John Sarbanes, a Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said Wednesday he didn't believe explanations from energy company executives who testified about high gas prices.
"I think they're throwing up a smoke screen on what is essentially a profiteering situation that's going on," Sarbanes, D-Md., told Fox News Digital. "And it's unfortunate, because the average person, as I said, who's out there at the pump, they're taking a hit. And meanwhile, the oil companies and the executives are making a killing."
Sarbanes, like several Democrats at the hearing, pressed the executives about their companies' profits and whether they had a duty to reduce their prices. The executives emphasized the complexity and global nature of the energy market and how individual companies don't control prices. Sarbanes wasn't satisfied.
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"There's a lot of hocus-pocus language you can throw up here. I think you need to pass savings along when you realize them," Sarbanes said.
Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., also said the energy executives weren't truly answering questions about how to help Americans.
"They have not answered the question about … when will the American consumer get some relief?" Rush told Fox News Digital.
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Republicans at the hearing, "Gouged at the Gas Station: Big Oil and America's Pain at the Pump," countered that President Biden and Democrats are responsible for gas prices.
"They're just trying to blame this thing — take the blame off of the administration," Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Fla., told Fox News Digital after questioning witnesses at the hearing.
"The [EastMed] pipeline is so very important, and the fact that this administration basically withheld their support after they were supportive of this particular project, it's inconceivable," Bilirakis said. "We don't want people depending on Russian oil or oil from our adversaries. And that's exactly what's going on right now."
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"We're going to fight to reverse course and bring down these prices," Bilirakis added. "And that's how you do it — with domestic production and production from our allies so that we don't have to depend on these foreign countries that are basically not our friends in most cases."