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Pascrell Unveils Blockbuster Congressional Report on Greedy Gas Gouging

In appearance at North Jersey gas stations, Oversight Subcommittee Chairman details rampant abuses by big oil companies

U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09), the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight, today unveiled a new report from the Subcommittee detailing widespread executive profiteering, stock buybacks, and gas gouging by large oil companies awash in record-setting profits. Speaking today in front of gas stations in Clifton, New Jersey, Pascrell revealed the report’s findings, excoriated greedy gas gouging, and touted action taken by the House to defend American consumers. 

“Back in March, I demanded answers from the heads of the largest oil companies about their use of federal tax breaks and price gouging,” said Chairman Pascrell. “Our new report released today vindicates our suspicions and shows exactly what is happening: Big Oil has failed to ramp up production to meet demand. Instead, these tycoons are taking advantage of our tax code and cashing in to reward exe Washington cutives and investors with lavish buybacks. By deliberately keeping production low, Big Oil has kept prices and profits sky high – and they’ve used inflation and Ukraine as cover for their greed. While Americans suffer at the pump the oil companies focus on stock buybacks and executive pocket-lining.

Pascrell concluded: “Blessedly national gas prices have now fallen on average 71 straight days, as I demanded answers on buybacks and gouging, the House passed the Consumer Fuel Price Gouging Prevention Act and President Biden has signed into law the Inflation Reduction Act. Importantly, not a single Republican in Congress voted to stop gouging, lower gas prices, address these stock buybacks or support the largest investment in renewable energy in history. House Republicans keep voting to keep Americans’ gas expensive.”

“The Inflation Reduction Act that Congressman Pascrell championed will deliver historic investments in the fight against climate change, helping us build a 21st century economy powered by clean, renewable energy,” said Ed Potosnak, Executive Director of the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters. “This historic climate legislation will also lower energy costs for working families and small businesses even as we achieve energy independence for hostile foreign nations like Russia. The Inflation Reduction Act will enable New Jerseyans to transition to energy efficient appliances, invest in energy saving heat pumps, electric water heaters, and transition to electric vehicles. These measures will help us reduce carbon pollution even as they lower energy costs and create manufacturing jobs here at home. We thank Congressman Pascrell for his leadership on behalf of New Jersey’s working families and his longstanding commitment to deliver landmark climate investments.”

“NJ Citizen Action applauds Congressman Pascrell for demanding answers from oil and gas companies who report record profits while price gouging working families throughout America.  Corporations should not be profiteering at a time when many Americans are pinching pennies to put food on the table or gas in the tank. We urge other members of Congress to call out companies who put the interest of shareholders over the wellbeing of American families," said Liz Glynn, Organizing Director with NJ Citizen Action.

On March 10, 2022, Chairman Pascrell demanded answers on price gouging and executive compensation from the following companies: Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben van Beurden, British Petroleum CEO Bernard Looney, Exxon Mobil CEO Darren Woods, Equinor CEO Anders Opedal, Enbridge CEO Al Monaco, Chevon CEO Michael Wirth, Marathon Petroleum CEO Michael Hennigan, ConocoPhillips CEO Ryan Lance, Pioneer Natural Resources CEO Scott Sheffield, Devon Energy CEO Rick Muncrief, and APA CEO John Christmann.

The eleven companies Pascrell wrote to in March, including giants like Exxon, Chevron, BP, and Shell, recorded a mind-blowing profit of $86 billion in the second quarter of this year alone. In the first three quarters of 2021, the 24 top oil and gas companies around the world made a combined $174 billion in net income. Since that time, average retail gasoline prices have steadily risen from around $2 per gallon in December 2020 to approximately $4.10 per gallon in March 2022.

A copy of the new Ways and Means Oversight report is available here.

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