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US House panel to hold gasoline price hearing with oil company CEOs

WASHINGTON, March 29 (Reuters) – A House of Representatives panel will hold a hearing on Wednesday with six senior oil company executives on soaring gas prices since Russia invaded Ukraine.

The hearing by a House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee, “Gouged at the Gas Station: Big Oil and America’s Pain at the Pump,” will include the CEOs of Chevron Corp (CVX.N), Devon Energy Corp (DVN.N), Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N) and Pioneer Natural Resources Co (PXD.N), as well as the chairman of Shell USA (SHEL.L) and the chairman and chairman of BP America Inc (BP. I).

House Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone and Rep. Diana DeGette, who chairs the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, said in a joint statement: “Fossil fuel companies are not doing enough to alleviate the pain at the pump, instead stuffing one’s pockets with one hand while sitting with the other.

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“It’s time to understand why oil companies just watch Americans suffer so their shareholders and executives can reap huge profits,” they said.

Most of the companies scheduled to appear either did not immediately respond to requests for comment or declined to comment. BP confirmed it would attend but declined to comment.

The American Petroleum Institute said on Tuesday, “There are many factors driving rising energy costs, from geopolitical volatility and supply chain constraints to political uncertainty and mixed signals from Washington.”

U.S. gasoline prices have fallen since hitting a record high of $4.331 a gallon on March 11, but remained at $4.244 on Tuesday, according to data from the American Automobile Association.

Last week, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said President Joe Biden and his advisers were “working overtime right now to assess and consider a range of domestic options.”

Some Democrats in Congress have proposed a windfall tax on oil companies, while others want to suspend the federal gasoline tax until the end of the year.

Republicans blame Biden’s energy policies for high prices.

The Biden administration has urged energy companies to increase U.S. crude production from the current 11.6 million barrels per day, but analysts say it wouldn’t be easy.

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Reporting by David Shepardson Editing by Chris Reese and Leslie Adler

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