Oil Industry Arrogance Shown by Dishonest Answers to Congress About Task Force

Nov. 16, 2005

Oil Industry Arrogance Shown by Dishonest Answers to Congress About Task Force

Statement of Public Citizen President Joan Claybrook

Citizen groups are rightly outraged with the report today in The Washington Post that while most of the oil industry executives who testified last week before Congress said their firms did not participate in the 2001 task force chaired by Vice President Dick Cheney, a White House document shows that many of them did, in fact, participate.

Not only is lying to Congress a federal criminal violation, but it shows the arrogance of this industry, that its executives will not even honestly answer questions from Congress. The task force policies, many of which were enacted as a part of the energy bill in July 2005, do not address the economic and personal crises caused by high gas prices today and even allocate a $6 billion subsidy to the oil industry, which is already wallowing in cash secured by price-gouging consumers. Even more galling: When asked whether they would donate the $6 billion to low-income consumers who will have to choose this winter between high-cost heat and food, the oil executives said “no.”

It is past time for the Congress to rewrite the nation’s energy policies so that they encourage conservation and fair prices and protect against global warming by moving to numerous available alternate energy sources, rather than relying on fossil fuels.

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