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Congress to drill for answers on oil prices


Congress will hold hearings this week where they will question the five biggest oil companies, Exxon Mobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, BP and Royal Dutch Shell, about tax subsidies, high prices and record profits.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Under the backdrop of record gas prices and record profits, Congress is set to grill executives Tuesday from the world's five biggest publicly traded oil companies.

Lawmakers are expected to focus their questions on why the cash-rich industry needs $18 billion in tax breaks over ten years with some in Congress looking to take them away and use them to subsidize renewable energy projects.
The hearings are set to open Tuesday before the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming chaired by Congressman Edward Markey (D-MA):
On Tuesday, April 1, 2008, Chairman Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) will bring top-level executives from the five largest oil companies to discuss the current state of oil and gas prices, oil company profits, and the need for clean, renewable fuels to ease demand for oil and cut global warming pollution. The Select Committee will hear from the number two officers worldwide for the three United States-based oil companies and the presidents of U.S. operations for the foreign companies.
Set to testify:

* Mr. J. Stephen Simon, Senior Vice President, Exxon Mobil Corp.

* Mr. John Hofmeister, President, Shell Oil Company

* Mr. Robert A. Malone, Chairman and President, BP America, Inc.

* Mr. Peter Robertson, Vice Chairman, Chevron
* Mr. John Lowe, Executive Vice President, ConocoPhillips

The hearing will start at 12 pm EST, Tuesday, April 1, 2008, at 210 Cannon House Office Building, Washington, DC and on the web at globalwarming.house.gov. On Thursday, the Senate committee on Energy and Natural Resources will hear testimony Thursday regarding the role investment money has on oil prices:
On Thursday, April 3, the full committee will examine the influence of non-commercial, institutional investors on the price of oil. Witnesses include Jeffery Harris, chief economist, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Washington; Sara Emerson, managing director, Energy Security Analysis Inc., Wakefield, MA; Kevin Book, senior vice president/senior analyst, Friedman Billings Ramsey & Co., Inc., Arlington, VA; Jim Burkhard, Cambridge Energy Research Associates, Cambridge MA; and Sean Cota, representing the Petroleum Marketers Association of America, Bellows Falls, VT. (Dirksen 366 at 9:30 a.m.)
The Senate live webcast, Thursday, April 3, 9:30 AM EST scheduled here.

LABELS: CONGRESS,
ENVIRONMENT, IBS, OIL, REUTERS, SENATE