House Democrats demand hearing on Big Oil collusion

By Emma Dumain | 05/29/2024 01:36 PM EDT

The request is the latest shot in the ongoing energy back-and-forth on Capitol Hill.

Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.).

House Energy and Commerce ranking member Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) is calling for a hearing on oil industry practices following claims a former executive colluded to set crude prices. Francis Chung/POLITICO

The top Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee wants Republicans to convene a hearing on allegations that oil majors are engaging in illegal coordination to raise gas prices.

A May 28 letter from ranking member Frank Pallone of New Jersey to Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington making the request represents the latest in a drumbeat of efforts from Democrats to blame higher prices at the pump on the actions of the fossil fuel industry — not Biden administration environmental policies, as Republicans contend.

Pallone’s letter references a Federal Trade Commission investigation concluding that Scott Sheffield — the former CEO of Pioneer Natural Resources, now owned by Exxon Mobil — may have attempted to collude with OPEC countries and other oil companies to set crude prices.


“These are shocking allegations that, if true, have had serious consequences for Americans and the prices they have paid at the pump,” Pallone wrote to McMorris Rodgers.