WASHINGTON (AP) - Senators told oil executives Wednesday that
high oil prices cannot be explained by supply and demand and the
oil industry's concentration - and OPEC price collusion - is
contributing to the costs facing consumers.
Executives of the five largest oil companies were appearing
before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said there's an
unexplained "disconnect" between prices - at nearly $130 a barrel
- and legitimate supply and demand.
"We need to get prices under control.... We can only conclude
that the oil markets have failed," said Sen. Herbert Kohl, D-Wis.
But Shell Oil Co. Chairman John Hofmeister said the prices can
be explained, saying, "The fundamental laws of supply and demand
are at work."