Schumer circulating letter calling for oil mergers probe

By James Bikales | 03/06/2024 06:50 AM EST

California Democrat Ro Khanna is helping lead the effort in the House.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has for months been expressing concern about oil mergers. Francis Chung/POLITICO

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and California Democratic Rep. Ro Khanna are circulating a letter for signatures this week that urges the Federal Trade Commission to look further into the pattern of consolidation in the oil industry.

The FTC is already investigating megamergers announced last year between Chevron and Hess, Exxon Mobil and Pioneer, and Occidental Petroleum and CrownRock.

Schumer (D-N.Y.) and other Democrats had urged the regulator last fall to probe those deals. In a draft of the new letter provided by Khanna’s office, he and Schumer argue the FTC needs to examine each transaction in the context of the broader “anticompetitive pattern developing as Big Oil corporations race to consolidate the Permian Basin and other key American oilfields.”


“We urge the FTC to extend its current investigations, open inquiries into these new deals, and take all appropriate actions to protect competition in this industry,” reads the draft letter, which the lawmakers planned to send Wednesday.