Oil Industry Executives Smack Down House Democrats in Congressional Hearing

Guest “Is flunking math a prerequisite for Democrat politicians?” by David Middleton

These cretins actually called the hearing, “Gouged at the Gas Station and America’s Pain at the Pump”…

Big Oil Executives Testify in ‘Gouged at the Gas Station’ Hearing in Congress

By Sabrina Escobar
Updated April 6, 2022

Executives from the largest oil and gas companies testified Wednesday — and got a grilling from lawmakers — at a House committee hearing on their role in setting gas prices at the pump.

The hearing — “Gouged at the Gas Station: Big Oil and America’s Pain at the Pump” — intends to “examine the oil industry’s role in the recent increase in gasoline prices in the United States,” according to a memorandum sent by Rep. Frank Pallone, a Democratic representative from New Jersey.



After listening to a bunch of crap from Democrat representatives, the oil industry executives and former National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster responded:

Gretchen Watkins, president of Shell USA, the U.S. subsidiary of U.K.-based Shell plc (ticker: SHEL), said: “Shell does not set or control the price of crude oil” or the prices that consumers pay at the pump. “Indeed, it would be illegal for Shell to do so because nearly all Shell-branded retail stations in the United States are owned by independent operators who set their own prices in the marketplace.”

Chevron (CVX) CEO Michael Wirth said the company had committed to increasing capital spending this year by more than 60% from 2021, with approximately half of that increase going to oil and gas production.

“I also want to be absolutely clear about where Chevron stands: We do not control the market price of crude oil or natural gas, nor of refined products like gasoline and diesel fuel, and we have no tolerance for price gouging,” Wirth said.

David Lawler, chairman and president of BP America (BP), told the committee that all but about 10% of the BP stations are independently operated, and that the higher pump prices could reflect oil entering the refinery system that could have been purchased at a higher price and that’s working its way through the system.

He said BP aimed to start up Argos, a production platform that would increase Gulf production by 25%, and planned to spend more than $1 billion to install infrastructure that would reduce emissions from onshore production.

Retired U.S. Army Lt. General H.R. McMaster, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, said Russia has actively worked to discourage fracking, decrease American exports and keep other countries dependent on its oil and gas.



Chevron CEO Michael Wirth also noted that about half of their increase in CapEx was going to renewable energy and low carbon solutions projects, like CCS.

Wirth restated Chevron’s plans to boost capital expenditure this year by 50%, with about half going to increasing oil and gas output and half to renewable fuels and lower-carbon energy.


One recurring theme is the mistaken notion that gasoline prices are remaining high, while crude oil prices are falling.

“One of the things that has confused me … and it’s making people mad, is why are gas prices still high?” said U.S. Representative Diana DeGette, a Democrat and chair of the subcommittee.


The Reuters article featured this graph:

Apart from a couple of spikes, the delta between retail and wholesale gasoline prices has ranged from $0.75 to $1.00/gal.

The taxes and other fees on retail gasoline and diesel fuel, in cents per gallon, as of January 1, 2022 are:
Average of total state taxes31.0232.66

An average of $0.49/gal of that delta consists of federal and state taxes. Stated another way, 1/2 to 2/3 of the difference between wholesale and retail gasoline prices consists of taxes.

These fundamentals haven’t changed.

Since the beginning of 2021, crude oil prices have actually risen significantly faster than retail gasoline prices.

Gasoline slope = 0.0027
Oil slope = 0.0862

It’s important to restate the fact that these oil companies own very few retail outlets. They have no control over either crude oil or retail gasoline prices, nor would they benefit from a higher wholesale-retail differential.

Democrats demand control of oil companies’ cash flow

The most insane demand made by the Democrats was for the oil companies to hand over control of their cash flow to Congress…

During a hearing, Rep. Frank Pallone, a New Jersey Democrat, asked the top executives from ExxonMobil (XOM), Chevron, BP, Shell, Pioneer Natural Resources and Devon Energy if they would commit to “doing whatever it takes,” including not just increasing production but reducing dividends and buybacks to lower prices for American consumers.


‘The answer is no on dividends’


“We can increase production and return value to shareholders,” Chevron (CVX) CEO Mike Wirth said in response. BP (BP) America CEO David Lawler said he “can’t commit” to cutting buybacks and dividends.

Gretchen Watkins, the president of Shell (RDSA) USA, said her company believes it can return value to shareholders, boost supply of oil and invest in renewables. “We will be doing all of that,” Watkins said.

And Scott Sheffield, the CEO of Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD), said his company will increase production but flatly declined to dial back dividends. “The answer is no on dividends,” Sheffield said.

Lawmakers fired back with strong complaints, suggesting that the executives should be squarely focused on shareholders, particularly during the war in Ukraine.

“During this Russian war, you are ripping the American people off and it must end,” said California Democrat Rep. Raul Ruiz, who also referenced a recent Dallas Federal Reserve survey in which 59% of oil executives said investor pressure to maintain capital discipline is the primary reason publicly traded oil producers are restraining growth.

“Gas prices cannot continue to be dependent on the whims of autocrats like Putin who can weaponize oil against us,” Ruiz said.



Is Rep. Paul Ruiz really that stupid? Speaking of stupid…

I’ll repeat the really stupid bit…

Kernen: Were you one of the 26 House Democrats who voted for the bill last year to outlaw fracking as well as oil and gas production?

Representative Schakowsky: Look, the question is are the, has these, what are the oil companies doing. Yes, I a..I, I, I, I am against fracking. I think it’s a real problem.

Question: Did you vote yes on that.

Schakowsky: The question is that the oil companies made the decision rather, in this crisis right now, to raise the cost, to gouge the consumers, to, uh, in some ways, to, to, to, just to do what we day in, uh, th, thuh, the name of the hearing today is [checks notes] “gouged at the gas pump,”, um, [checks notes again] “Big Oil and America’s pain at the pump.”

They had an option to do that. To increase their ability right now, not to have to frack, not to have to drill more, but to simply, at their ability right now to raise the amount of gas that they produce.


She really said this:

They had an option to do that. To increase their ability right now, not to have to frack, not to have to drill more, but to simply, at their ability right now to raise the amount of gas that they produce.

Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL08)

That’s actually dumber than what Rep. Ruiz said,

Back to dividends and buybacks

I don’t currently own ExxonMobil (XOM) or Chevron (CVX) stock. I used to be an XOM shareholder. One of the main reasons I bought XOM was the dividend. That’s probably the main reason that many XOM shareholders bought the stock. The demand that XOM, CVX and other companies suspend their dividends because of Biden’s incompetence the war in Ukraine, is at best Leninist. The shareholders own these companies. Congress doesn’t. Here’s chart of XOM & CVX net operating cash flow (NOCF), capital expenditures (CapEx), free cash flow (FCF), dividends and oil prices (WTI) over the most recent five quarters:

A couple of things stand out:

  1. Major oil companies XOM and CVX haven’t increased their CapEx as quickly as the large independents (PXD, DVN and EOG) we looked at yesterday. Major oil companies can’t do anything as quickly as independents.
  2. Neither company has increased their dividends. The question should be, “Why aren’t you returning more to your shareholders”?

That’s where buybacks come in to play

One of the primary purposes of a business is to return value to their owners, shareholders in the case of publicly traded companies. The returns generally take the form of increasing the stock price and/or paying dividends. One of the ways that large companies, like XOM and CVX, increase their stock price is to buy back shares. XOM actually suspended its buyback program in 2016 and only recently announced that they would “repurchase $10 billion worth of stock over the next 12 to 24 months.” CVX “said it now plans to buy back $5 billion to $10 billion worth of stock a year, up from prior plans for $3 billion to $5 billion of annual repurchases.

The two companies combined will spend $15 to $30 billion over the next two years on stock buybacks… $7.5 to $15 billion per year.


Putting this in context of their 2021 performance:

  • Gross Revenue: $436.8B
  • Pre-tax Income: $52.87B
  • Income Taxes: ($14.2B)
  • Net Income: $38.67B
  • Profit Margin: 8.9%
  • Effective Tax Rate: 26.9%
  • CapEx: ($19.68B)
  • Dividends: ($25.1B)
  • Buybacks: ($7.5B to $15B)

In 2021, Apple spent $85B on stock buybacks and paid out $14.5B in dividends, had a 42% profit margin and an effective tax rate of only 13%… Why aren’t the Democrats berating Tim Cook?

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Tom Halla
April 6, 2022 6:21 pm

Being a socialist, or a green, not that there is commonly any separation, requires studious ignorance of economics. One has to go to the effort of only reading Robert Reich or Paul Krugman, and never their critics.
Of course, some of the rhetoric is dishonest, as Green policy intended for energy prices to rise, and they are hiding deliberate choices. Or they really could be stupid and naive enough to accept green agitprop that wind and solar are cheaper than conventional sources.

Reply to  Tom Halla
April 6, 2022 6:41 pm

The proper question is why do they believe WE are so stupid and naive that we would believe the charade they put on.

Reply to  Sean
April 6, 2022 7:03 pm

This is an easy question to answer.
Liberal Projection. The inevitable need of liberals to project onto others, that trait which the liberal has one has oneself.

Old Man Winter
Reply to  TonyL
April 6, 2022 10:05 pm

You are so right! The Russian collusion hoax was used to
blame Trump of doing what they had already done. They
needed to use that to get rid of him to keep their ties with
the Russians & Ukrainians a secret. Uranium One,
Vekselberg, Skolkovo (hyper-sonic missiles & companies
giving $145M to the Clinton Foundation), Putin’s effort to
diss fossil fuels, etc. Ukranians also helped to try to take
Trump down. This covers some of it:


Other good sources include Technofog, John
Solomon, Mollie Hemingway, Dan Bongino, The
Conservative Treehouse & Tucker Carlson.

Bryan A
Reply to  TonyL
April 7, 2022 6:33 am

There could be no worse idea than for the oil companies to hand control of when they drill, how they drill, how they spend and what dividend they pay to shareholders, over to any congress…especially a Dim-O-Crat controlled congress that is hell bent on ecofascism

Ed Bo
Reply to  Bryan A
April 7, 2022 9:06 am

But it worked so well in Venezuela…

Reply to  Ed Bo
April 7, 2022 1:08 pm

Don’t forget Mexico.

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  Sean
April 6, 2022 10:38 pm

It would appear that a lot of us are, and despite everything still are.

Steve Case
Reply to  Tom Halla
April 6, 2022 10:45 pm

Someone posted this a day or so ago:

To paraphrase Solzenytsn in The Gulag Archipelago:

We know they lie.
They know we know they lie.
We know they know we know they lie.
And yet they still lie.

Reply to  Steve Case
April 11, 2022 1:58 pm

Well. obviously, they LIE because that’s what liberals do! That’s. basically, ALL that they do, all that they know HOW to do, and it has worked SO WELL for them, low these MANY decades! WHY would they change?

John Endicott
Reply to  Tom Halla
April 7, 2022 3:13 am

Embrace the word “and”. they’re dishonest *and* stupid & naive enough.

Reply to  Tom Halla
April 7, 2022 6:50 am

They’re probably not stupid or naive, but are listening to words we can not hear. After all, money does talk.

Reply to  Tom Halla
April 11, 2022 1:54 pm

Sadly, in the USA, we have an actual president (?) who believes that wind and solar really ARE cheaper than conventional sources (so-called ‘fossil fuels)!

Jim Gorman
April 6, 2022 6:37 pm

Just how do these dumb Democrats expect PUBLIC companies, owned by private investors, to willfully ignore their fiduciary requirements? These are in place for a reason and Congress can’t just tell them to ignore laws that were enacted in the past and are still on the books.

Reply to  Jim Gorman
April 7, 2022 3:45 am

Which is why socialists love to nationalise oil and gas industry. The fact it leads to the current situation in Venezuela is a feature, not a setback.

Reply to  Jim Gorman
April 7, 2022 1:12 pm

Look at what PUBLIC companies have been doing, donating to BLM, spending hugely on woke policies and forcing their employees to get CRT type training, all with a total disregard to their shareholder’s stock value.

All of the above for the benefit of liberals and Democrats. So why not expect what you ask.

Reply to  Jim Gorman
April 11, 2022 2:01 pm

Why NOT? THEY don’t pay any attention to our laws, so they think they can give oil companies that ‘RIGHT’, too! In a ‘democracy’, laws are only meant for the ‘other’ side, not for the demo crats!

April 6, 2022 6:50 pm

demand made by the Democrats was for the oil companies to hand over control

Takeover of the entire energy sector has been the real green and globalist agenda for at least thirty years. Gore campaigned and lost (despite 20+ years of claims otherwise) on it. No surprise, but least this is out in the open.

Reply to  dk_
April 6, 2022 8:20 pm

ROFL what could possibly go wrong with a fully government run oil sector … Venezuela is such a good example 🙂

Reply to  LdB
April 6, 2022 11:55 pm

Especially with Democrats in charge,, A recipe for total disaster. !

Reply to  LdB
April 7, 2022 7:56 am

I still have socialists tell me that both Cuba and Venezuela would have been paradises on Earth, if it weren’t for the US embargoes. The mere fact that the rest of the world continued to trade with them, not with standing.

Reply to  MarkW
April 7, 2022 8:44 am


I wrote this in response to a Socialist who (falsely) claimed the same thing. I happened to save it in a file named “response to the insane Socialist blogger”.

In 1998, before the ruinous Socialists took over, Venezuela produced just over 3 million barrels of oil per day and the US imported about 1/2 of that. By 2017, Venezuela was producing about 1.5 million barrels of oil per day, far below the amount produced before the brain-dead Socialists ran production into the ground. Still, the US imported about 1/3 of that. In fact, in 2017 Venezuela was fourth HIGHEST on the list of countries the U.S. got the most oil from, but by then Venezuela had already become a Socialist hellhole.
The US did not stop trading with Venezuela. In 1998, before the Socialists ruined Venezuela, the US imported $9.1 billion of goods from Venezuela. US imports actually INCREASED early in the Socialist’s rule to a HUGE $43 billion. It dropped to $10 billion by 2017, but that’s because the Socialists had already ruined Venezuela’s economy.

Reply to  MarkW
April 11, 2022 2:04 pm

To a socialist, a fully government-run Communist government is the very definition of paradise! The people who are forced to LIVE in it have a very different slant on it, though!

Steve Case
Reply to  dk_
April 6, 2022 10:51 pm

From wikipedia:

On August 4, 1977, President Jimmy Carter signed into law 
The Department of Energy Organization Act of 1977

Reply to  Steve Case
April 7, 2022 12:03 am

Carter also nationalized our Dept of Education- which needs to be returned to each individual state, the way it was before he put those ‘public schools of liberal indoctrination’ in place nation wide.

Reply to  dk_
April 7, 2022 11:55 am

The basis of all production of all goods relies exclusively on 4 things:

1) Capital investment
2) Raw materials
3) Energy
4) Labor

The marketplace determines the winners and losers by measuring the efficient use of these requirements. Whenever government regulates any of these requirements for any reasons, it introduces inefficiencies into the system. It cannot be avoided as government is not and cannot be in the position to manage production.

We already tried that experiment in the 20th century and it failed miserably.

April 6, 2022 7:06 pm

I can’t wait for word salad Bob to explain how David is wrong.

I am actually giddy.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Derg
April 7, 2022 4:01 am

Aw Derg, don’t wish big oily boob on us please. When his piehole is shut, let sleeping morons lie.

April 6, 2022 8:19 pm

While a few said “no” to 1 or 2 specific operational points, none of that dialogue sounds the least like “fighting back” to me.

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  AndyHce
April 6, 2022 10:06 pm

I’ll admit that I’m sometimes critical of the industry’s passivity and its futile attempts to curry the left’s approval via virtue signaling. But truth be told, the oil companies only job is to profitably produce the fuels and chemicals its customers demand. Given that the Democrats have long been lost to the left, the real question is if the Republicans will fight to uphold our right to purchase these products at an affordable cost. In retrospect, they’ve squandered a lot of the support they have received from us over the years.

April 6, 2022 8:21 pm

Its hearings like this one which continue to demonstrate how ignorant a lot of the critters in Congress truly are, and should be nowhere near the levers of power.

Reply to  RevJay4
April 6, 2022 11:02 pm

Yes, and realize that the folks who continue to elect them are just as ignorant.

Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
April 7, 2022 8:57 am

The sad fact that the only requirement to be an elected official is to win an election.

Reply to  Mandobob
April 7, 2022 1:32 pm

Or at least to get the most votes. Whether they are legitimate votes is secondary.

April 6, 2022 9:20 pm

Collusion didn’t work. Take a knee doesn’t work. Let’s try standing as men and women do… while we still can.

April 6, 2022 9:48 pm

The US is very very lucky with only 17% tax on oil products, even VAT is higher in Europe.

Reply to  Hans Erren
April 7, 2022 6:47 am

I try to remember that– even when prices are high in the US, it’s much worse in Europe.

Reply to  leowaj
April 7, 2022 9:35 am

European politicians are even more corrupt than US ones.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Hans Erren
April 7, 2022 6:19 pm

It isn’t luck.

April 6, 2022 9:54 pm

Most important point for Congress critters and tax payers:

Government taxes collected from sale of a gallon of gas are always larger than profits.

Reply to  JRo
April 7, 2022 7:02 am

Yes you’d just love one oilco CEO to point out how the dividends go-

  • Profit Margin: 8.9%
  • Effective Tax Rate: 26.9%

Perhaps senators you’d like to drop your dividend payouts down to the level of ours and then we can both look at how we can stop gouging the punters from there? Would there be anything else?

April 6, 2022 10:17 pm

I understand the energy industry, having been instrumental in the dramatic turnaround ot the Canadian oil sands. Canada is the 4th largest oil producer in the world and the largest foreign supplier of energy to the USA, and most of this oil is from the oil sands. Three of the four major changes that grew the oil sands were my initiatives. I have done major business on six continents and ran a large, successful oil project in the Former Soviet Union.  
David Middleton says that Democrat politicians are stupid – OK. Also, I say world leftists are knowingly deceitful – they are deliberately inflaming the public with lies about our vital energy industry, to the great detriment of you and your family. It’s part of the Great Reset strategy – destroy the economy and create chaos and suffering – like Venezuela.
Fully ~85% of global primary energy is comprised of fossil fuels (oil, coal and natural gas), vital for your survival. Eliminate fossil fuels today and almost everyone in the developed would be dead in a few months from starvation and exposure. Forget green energy nonsense – it doesn’t work, primarily because of intermittency and diffusivity – green energy is a costly charade.
Fertilizer prices have doubled and tripled since Jan2021, and nitrogen fertilizers are made from natural gas. Russia is the 4th largest producer of nitrogen fertilizers. Food prices are increasing rapidly. We have a problem.
I published on 18Mar2022:
This year there may be grain shortages – I’m going to research this further in the next days.
Here is a recent article on food shortages – I have not verified the contents and do not know the author.
20 Facts About The Emerging Global Food Shortage That Should Chill You To The Core
Michael Snyder April 3, 2022
A very alarming global food shortage has already begun, and it is only going to get worse in the months ahead. I realize that this is not good news, but I would encourage you to share the information in this article with everyone that you can. People deserve to understand what is happening, and they deserve an opportunity to get prepared. The pace at which things are changing around the globe right now is absolutely breathtaking, but most people assume that life will just continue to carry on as it normally does. Unfortunately, the truth is that a very real planetary emergency is developing right in front of our eyes. The following are 20 facts about the emerging global food shortage that should chill you to the core…
#1 One of France’s most important government officials is telling us that we should brace ourselves for an “extremely serious” global food crisis…
France’s Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said the EU must get to grips with the prospect that the war in Ukraine could prompt an “extremely serious” global food crisis.
#2 Joe Biden recently admitted that food shortages are “going to be real”, and his administration is now openly using the word “famine” to describe what is coming…
The Biden administration is worried Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will cause famine in parts of the world, White House Council of Economic Advisers Chair Cecilia Rouse told CNBC on Friday.
#3 It is being reported that food prices at German supermarkets will soon go up between 20 and 50 percent

Reply to  Allan MacRae
April 7, 2022 1:40 pm

“ The Biden administration is worried Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will cause famine in parts of the world, White House Council of Economic Advisers Chair Cecilia Rouse told CNBC on Friday”

This is Biden and his administrations fault!

Reply to  Derg
April 11, 2022 2:14 pm

Yes, ALL of it has been caused by Biden’s insistence in changing EVERYTHING President Trump did! He has so much hatred for the man,he’s even willing to DESTROY an entire country, or two or three, in the process! If he had an actual ENEMY of the state in the WH it could NOT be any worse! Meanwhile, MOST Americans are actually PROUD of their apathy and refusal to pay ANY attention to what is happening in our government, in our COUNTRY! By the time they finally WAKE UP, it will be too late!

Reply to  IAMPCBOB
April 11, 2022 2:16 pm

OOPS, my post should have said, “If we had a actual Enemy of the state…”

Reply to  Allan MacRae
April 7, 2022 2:01 pm

I wrote that I am concerned about grain shortages – and now the genocidal IPCC says food systems have to go “low-carbon”. That should solve their alleged overpopulation problem – especially in the developing world. Nuremberg 2.0

April 7, 2022 Cap Allon
The IPCC is pushing ‘the agenda’ harder than I’ve seen before: “The planet is on course for a 3.2C rise … an increase that would render much of the world uninhabitable … [and there must be] rapid, deep and immediate cuts [in GHG emissions].”

Reply to  Allan MacRae
April 11, 2022 2:19 pm

Tell that to China and India, my friend! The USA contributes a MIGHTY small percentage of the total GHG! Those two countries, alone, are on track to produce HUNDREDS of times more in the coming decades! If America stopped producing ‘carbon’ completely by tomorrow, it would not even make a noticeable difference, but Americans would all starve to death!

Reply to  IAMPCBOB
April 11, 2022 6:26 pm

I am well aware of these facts. You are preaching to the choir. Recently posted in the Toronto Sun:
IN 2002 we published that there was no real global warming crisis and green energy was not green and produced little useful (dispatchable) energy. We also correctly predicted in 2002 that solar-driven global cooling would start now, and that does appear to be happening. We further predicted in detail in 2013 the current green energy crisis in Britain, Germany, etc. These are, to my knowledge, the best (earliest and most accurate) predictions of our current climate-and-energy debacle. https://correctpredictions.ca/
Anyone who promotes human-made global warming, climate change, grid-connected green energy, carbon taxes, etc is spreading falsehoods that will cause you and your family great harm. They have already cost humanity trillions of wasted dollars and millions of wasted lives due to energy starvation, especially in the developing world.
My colleagues and I are not only concerned about energy shortages, which we predicted decades ago.
We are concerned about inflation and food shortages, and are watching that situation closely.
See also my note above:
Fully ~85% of global primary energy is comprised of fossil fuels (oil, coal and natural gas), vital for your survival. Eliminate fossil fuels today and almost everyone in the developed would be dead in a few months from starvation and exposure. Forget green energy nonsense – it doesn’t work, primarily because of intermittency and diffusivity – green energy is a costly charade.
Regards, Allan

Jeff Alberts
April 6, 2022 10:29 pm

And people like Tee Shortbus think Republicans are fascists?

Reply to  Jeff Alberts
April 7, 2022 7:59 am

According to the new left wing dictionary, a fascist just means someone a leftist doesn’t like. It has no other meanings.
The same is true for words like racist, sexist, homophobe, etc.

Ben Vorlich
April 6, 2022 10:36 pm

“Is flunking math a prerequisite for Democrat politicians?”

It certainly is for UK Prime Ministers, we’ve had a few in recent years. Now consorts get involved and they’ve flunked to a greater extent.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
April 7, 2022 8:24 am

You have to take a math class to flunk it.
I am fairly certain they have not taken any since 3rd grade, when they flunked.
Ditto a single science class.

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 11, 2022 2:23 pm

You’ve heard the saying, ‘The blind leading the blind’? Well, in this case case it’s the ignorant leading the stupid. People who have actually TAKEN classes in math (or economics, etc) but who continue to VOTE for these know-nothings are the REAL problem!

April 7, 2022 1:06 am

Funnily enough, on this side of the pond Miliband has been doing the media rounds claiming nothing is cheaper than unreliables and that we have to go net zero

Meanwhile in the real world…

Andrew Wilkins
Reply to  fretslider
April 7, 2022 6:37 am

This morning I was watching Millitwat on the TV spouting off about windmills being the cheapest form of energy production.
He’s a weapons grade idiot.

April 7, 2022 1:15 am

Most people in congress actually never did much math and probably failed and went to arts and letters. Seems to be the same with logic and critical thinking. What seems critical is their wallets and winning elections.

Reply to  RayB
April 11, 2022 2:24 pm

Exactly! Just how stupid must one be to VOTE for people like that?

Eric Vieira
April 7, 2022 1:44 am

The Dems seem to be in absolute admiration of the ostensible successes of the petroleum industry (and the economy/regime) in Venezuela….

Reply to  Eric Vieira
April 11, 2022 2:25 pm

They seem to love anything that’s remotely socialist and /or Communist!

Bill S
April 7, 2022 1:52 am

The Democrats have told oil companies that they are going to put the oil companies out of business when the US is carbon neutral by government fiat somewhere between 2030 and 2050. The Democrats have greatly restricted the ability of oil companies to increase the supply of oil and gas in the US. Carbon free is now part of the job of every executive department by direction from Joe Biden.

Oil companies have a fiduciary responsibility towards and are stewards of money for people who have entrusted the oil companies with their money. The Government has told the companies that their trillions of assets will be worth $0 by 2050. These current government imposed constraints leave oil companies with one strategic choice.

Do not risk capital on new production in the US, and maximize the cash flow from existing production. Return the capital entrusted to them by shareholders through high dividends and stock buybacks.

The green new deal idiots want increased production, and zero production to achieve carbon neutrality, both at the same time. The Democrats through their zero carbon ideology are responsible for high oil prices and high inflation, yet want to blame oil companies for responding rationally to policy choices made by Democrats.

Reply to  David Middleton
April 7, 2022 6:08 am

Nope. Can’t have that.

The GEBs with their hands on the levers of political power, know that CO2 is not the climate control knob.

They do know that energy is the control knob of our modern civilization. Lots of cheap energy allows people to tell our wannabe overlords to piss up a rope. Turn the energy control knob down to near zero and people are too busy just trying to live day-to-day to cause the PTB any headaches.

Control energy and you control everything, from whole economies to everyday lives of individuals. None of those good things you mention are the goals of our New Tyrannical Overlords. Their goal is absolute power.

So, nope. Getting out of the way of oil producers is not in the cards.

Reply to  David Middleton
April 7, 2022 7:47 am

”effectively carbon neutral manner”…I don’t see that…it takes a lot of energy to find, gather, process, refine, distribute energy…and it will always be more cost effective to use your own energy for your own consumption….at least until EROI dictates that using nuclear power as the heat source for refineries results in better energy economy….

Reply to  David Middleton
April 7, 2022 8:06 am

If getting out of the way allowed companies to solve the problem, that would demonstrate that politicians aren’t necessary.
Can’t have that.

Reply to  MarkW
April 7, 2022 1:28 pm

Yep, that is why the WHOLE of the deep state went after TRUMP!, he was actually planning on solving the problems, ex. the wall at the southern border.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  David Middleton
April 7, 2022 6:24 pm

It is rare to find a manager of any type that sees their job as obtaining critical resources for their employees and staying out of their way.

Reply to  David Middleton
April 11, 2022 2:29 pm

Follow the money! How many times have we heard that? But, it’s true, you know. The Zero crowd plans to REPLACE all the oil people with themselves and thereby promote themselves into the vaulted heights now enjoyed by their enemies, the oil industry! If it take massive taxpayer support, so be it! If people freeze and starve, oh well, at least they’ll be able to ‘enjoy’ Zero carbon!

April 7, 2022 2:24 am

Ten or more years ago, Maxine Waters during one of these committee meetings threatened to nationalize all the oil companies. So I think there is a small thought running in congress that thinks the oil company’s money belongs to them.

John Endicott
Reply to  mkelly
April 7, 2022 3:21 am

For most congress critter (mainly on the left, but a few RINO’s on the right as well) there’s a rather large thought that everybody’s money belongs to them.

Reply to  John Endicott
April 7, 2022 7:50 am

Gov’t believes everybody’s money is a result of gov’t policy printing the money to start with…

Reply to  DMacKenzie
April 7, 2022 9:37 am

I’ve had several socialists tell me that economic activity would grind to a halt if we didn’t have government running the economy.

Ed Zuiderwijk
April 7, 2022 2:36 am

Green is for people who can’t count.

April 7, 2022 3:04 am

DeGette’s ignorance has been on display for many years.

Given the profile of Chevron’s capitol spending, I will never own any shares of that organization.

At any time was it suggested that government reduce taxes on gasoline?

Rich Davis
Reply to  roaddog
April 7, 2022 4:11 am

Well actually, yes. Currently in Connecticut, the excise tax on gasoline is suspended. While I don’t mind paying less, this just means a bigger budget deficit and taxes going up a little later down the road. To be sure, they will be using this shortfall in highway funds as an excuse to push their tolls again.

Democrats don’t fix root causes, they tinker with treating symptoms.


Reply to  Rich Davis
April 7, 2022 8:09 am

That’s because Democrats are the root cause.

April 7, 2022 3:08 am

Congress critter Ruiz represents the Coachella Valley of Calif (think Palm Springs to Indio).
He is Med school grad who benefited from taxpayer money but never practiced. The valley was represented by a Republican (Sonny Bono then his widow); but as with much of Calif most are under Democrat control. I always thought he is beyond stupid despite his past credentials.

Reply to  Mac
April 7, 2022 8:13 am

That reminds me, I read an article that the Palm Springs city council recently voted unanimously to provide a UBI (Universal Basic Income) of $900/month, with no income restrictions, to anyone who identifies as transgender.

John Endicott
Reply to  MarkW
April 7, 2022 8:57 am

Apparently it wasn’t quite as bad as that. Palm Springs city council voted to approved $200,000 for initial research and planning. So no UBI for those who identify as trans & non-binary… yet, but it is a step down that road.

Reply to  John Endicott
April 7, 2022 9:37 am

Next will be a UBI for anyone who votes Democrat.

Rich Davis
Reply to  MarkW
April 7, 2022 5:29 pm

We used to just call that welfare?

Dave Andrews
Reply to  John Endicott
April 7, 2022 10:03 am

And if it did get approved you would end up saying “I never realised there were so many transgender people out there” 🙂

Reply to  Dave Andrews
April 7, 2022 1:34 pm

I was thinking that there is no way such a bill would pass constitutional muster.
Then I read that congress has just approved Biden’s pick for the Supreme Court. They pass it by ignoring the constitution.

April 7, 2022 3:33 am

Pallone is a lawyer with a degree in International Relations and has served 17 terms in Congress (stupidity is its own reward). From his website, “He successfully pushed through historic legislation that was signed into law that will help combat climate change by phasing down the production and consumption of hydrofluorocarbons and mandating the repair of methane leaks. He also advanced the fight against climate change with a plan to achieve a 100% clean economy by 2050.”

So by his own admission, he is the Definition of the Problem.

April 7, 2022 3:48 am

DeGette has a JD (lawyer) and has served 13 terms in Congress. From her website, “Earlier this year, Congress approved legislation – led by DeGette – to restore protections the Trump Administration had rolled back to regulate methane from the oil and gas industry. Now, members of Colorado’s Congressional delegation are urging the EPA to strengthen and expand those protections to older wells to achieve the greatest possible emission reductions.”
I’m all for emissions reductions, but if I understand correctly, any “greenhouse effect” of methane is subsumed by its overlap with much, much larger quantities of CO2 and water vapor in the atmosphere.

April 7, 2022 4:01 am

Schakowsky has served Illinois with 12 terms in Congress and has a BS in Elementary Education. From her website, “We have a responsibility to ensure that everyone has access to safe living conditions, and we cannot let corporate greed or a quest for profit get in the way of fundamental human rights…With high winter energy costs, the ongoing threat of the pandemic, and racial and economic justice issues surrounding energy debt, we urge FERC to use its existing statutory authority to better protect consumers from energy market manipulation.”

So affordable energy is now a constitutional right?

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  roaddog
April 7, 2022 8:33 am

She and her ilk have a stated policy to drive the cost of energy to infinity, as it will do when supply goes to zero.
And she thinks she is fighting to keep prices low?
These people are not even stupid.

April 7, 2022 4:15 am

In the UK about 50% at the pump is tax.

Eugene Conlin
Reply to  richard
April 7, 2022 9:31 am

Calculations by the RAC Foundation show 61% of the price of a litre of unleaded petrol and 59% of the price of a litre of diesel go the chancellor in fuel duty and VAT – it’s worse than you thought and yes, we’re taxes VAT on the fuel duty (tax) too!

Eugene Conlin
Reply to  Eugene Conlin
April 7, 2022 9:33 am


April 7, 2022 4:18 am

Ruiz, refreshingly, is a Harvard-educated physician who has served California via 5 terms in Congress. How he is incapable of grasping that his political party’s demonization of domestic oil and gas production is exactly what has empowered Vladimir Putin (who can do whatever he pleases, Rep. Ruiz be damned) on the world stage eludes me. Possibly an Ivy League education is over-rated?

Reply to  roaddog
April 7, 2022 6:15 pm

Based on the profiles of these four members of the House of Representatives, it’s apparent that ignorance has a remarkable ability to persist once it has arrived in Washington. Term limits would be at least a step in the right direction. No one should hold a seat for 17 terms – this is not representative government, it is Oligarchy.

Joe Biden certainly demonstrates that lengthy tenure in office does not correlate with competence.

April 7, 2022 5:55 am

hey congresscritter….
you want oil companies to cut dividends to help reduce the price at the pump…
will YOU commit to taking a pay cut to help reduce the federal deficit??????
i thought not….

April 7, 2022 6:31 am

Giving facts at a monkey show trial carries little weight at the biased media outlets with very different headlines. It might as well be a Putin hearing on antiwar demonstrators.

David Anderson
April 7, 2022 7:40 am

Democrats demand control of oil companies’ cash flow

Mussolini called. He wants his fascism back.

April 7, 2022 7:47 am

Speaking of dividend cuts, would congress demand that businesses cut wages across the board so that they can drop prices in order to help consumers?

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  MarkW
April 7, 2022 6:29 pm

Union members would have more disposable income if they didn’t have to pay union dues. 🙂

April 7, 2022 7:50 am

The Democrats fell short in bashing big oil but succeeded in showing the ignorance embedded in the congress eager to convince the public blame for high prices was anywhere but with the vocal Democratic party and silent Republic party.

Don Perry
April 7, 2022 8:06 am

The Democrats want to stop dividend payments to investors? Do they realize that many of those investors are pension plan funds? Sure, just stop paying out dividends and then wonder why pension funds are in big trouble. What a bunch of idiots! I’m now 5 years older than my grandfather was at his passing at age75. I now fully appreciate what he told me when I was 14 years old. Granddad Yeager was a very religious man, but he said to me, “Donny, if I had the choice of voting for the devil or a Democrat, I’d vote for the devil”.

Call me a skeptic
Reply to  Don Perry
April 7, 2022 8:26 am

I am thoroughly convinced that the majority of Democrats reside on the left side of the Bell curhve So easy to manipulate so easy to fool.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Call me a skeptic
April 7, 2022 5:34 pm

somebody has to be voting for the Democrats, and it can’t be anyone with half a brain. Of course a lot of the votes come from dead folk, and photocopiers.

Reply to  Rich Davis
April 7, 2022 6:19 pm

Biden appears to have gathered 250,000 votes in 2020 that should have been disqualified. Enough to have changed the outcome.

Reply to  Don Perry
April 7, 2022 9:39 am

If private pension funds collapse, the socialists will be the first to tell you that the private market can’t be trusted and everyone should rely only on Social Security to fund their retirement.

April 7, 2022 8:19 am

If there’s one quote of the week that sums up the climate changers sudden hypocrisy dilemma it has to be the UK Govt apologia coming up with this pearler-

Net zero is a smooth transition, not an immediate extinction, for oil and gas.

UK energy strategy – live: PM promises ‘clean power’ while boosting fossil fuel drilling as full plan revealed (msn.com)

They’re all climate smoothers now. LOL.

April 7, 2022 8:31 am

Apparently, there was a House Committee meeting last October where the oil companies were asked what they were doing to decrease oil production.

can’t seem to find the link any more

Reply to  David Middleton
April 7, 2022 6:25 pm

Thanks for rounding that up, David. Stunning ignorance on display there.Fossil fuel companies failing to invest in fossil fuels would (and may yet be) the death knell for tens of millions.

Dr. Bob
April 7, 2022 10:25 am

For a major company such as CVX or XOM, stock buybacks are tacit admissions that they have nothing better to do with their revenue than to buy back stock. Investment in projects should typically yield 10% to 15% ROI, and stock repurchase is much lower than that.
I see this stock buyback situation as being the outcome of major oil companies shutting down their basic research programs. As a former Chevron Research employee, I have an insight but biased view of this situation.

April 7, 2022 11:36 am

Remember, Obama said in January 2008 before his election

Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket

Democrats have not changed any of their energy policies toward any segment of the energy industry. All they have is the original Al Gore and Obama plan that energy is bad for you and we must save the earth by eliminating cheap energy.

Joe Biden does not have any different plans. Joe Biden pledged to eliminate ALL fossil fuels.

Enjoy your soaring energy prices and the resulting high inflation they always bring America. You voted for them. You got what you wanted.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Doonman
April 7, 2022 6:33 pm

You voted for them. You got what you wanted.

I suspect that a lot of them were dead. They did not get brought back to life.

Gunga Din
Reply to  Doonman
April 7, 2022 6:42 pm

Obama’s Energy SecretaryMarch 1, 2012 –Contact:
Matt Dempsey Matt_Dempsey@epw.senate.gov (202) 224-9797
Katie Brown Katie_Brown@epw.senate.gov (202) 224-2160            

Sec. Chu refuses to retract statement that the goal is to boost price of gas to levels in Europe

Washington, D.C. – Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, said that Energy Secretary Steven Chu’s testimony today before the House Science Committee reveals that he remains thoroughly committed to his comment in 2008 that somehow “we have to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe. When Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) asked Secretary Chu at the hearing today if he would retract his 2008 statement he refused. This comes just days after Congressman Alan Nunnelee (R-Miss) asked Secretary Chu if it was the Administration’s goal to bring down gas prices. His answer was “no” and he went on to say, “The overall goal is to decrease our dependency on oil; to build and strengthen our economy and decrease our dependency on oil.” 

April 7, 2022 2:21 pm

When you look up knuckle dragger in the dictionary it has pictures of democrats. These people are beyond deplorable. I think every person or organization drug before one of these committee hearings should automatically display graphs showing how much revenue the government takes in, how much money they spend, how much money they can’t account for and finally the size of the deficit. After giving the committee a good long time to digest the graphs ask them …and why should you expect us to look to you for fiscal advice?

peter dimopoulos
April 7, 2022 2:30 pm

I love the American Oil Company’s. They are the best and most profitable in the whole world.
I only purchase American Oil at the pump…..NO BP or Shell for me…….

Paul Blase
April 7, 2022 3:20 pm

Would somebody please explain to these Congresscritters that the price that any retail operations charges is never paid on their price for that particular product but for what it costs to buy replacement stock? Inventory is a sunk cost.

Reply to  Paul Blase
April 8, 2022 1:10 am

You mean to tell me if I want to sell my house to move interstate I shouldn’t sell it for my sunk cost 10 years ago? Like Mr Musk I might have to sell for what the market will cop at present you mean?
Tesla increases Powerwall prices, again – pv magazine Australia (pv-magazine-australia.com)
Ah well I better go along with Mr Musk then cos he’s an all round good guy and wants to save the planet.

Clyde Spencer
April 7, 2022 5:31 pm

David, your “Is flunking math a prerequisite for Democrat politicians?” title-question should be obvious when it is the party that thinks they can just print money to buy the solution to any and all social problems.

Gunga Din
April 7, 2022 5:45 pm

“Gas prices cannot continue to be dependent on the whims of autocrats like Putin who can weaponize oil against us,” Ruiz said.

He’d much rather have gas prices dependent on the whims of Democrats like AOC and President Puddin.

David S
April 7, 2022 8:48 pm

The oil execs should say 2 things: 1 We make a profit which we have to do to stay in business. The government on the other hand is $30 trillion in debt. If we ran our company the way you run the government we would have gone bankrupt decades ago. 2. If we do what you want which is to stop producing gas and oil this is what will happen. Transportation will stop. People won’t get to work. Food will not be delivered to grocery stores or any other stores. Planes will stop flying. Homes will not be heated. Our economy will come to a screeching halt and people will start dying.

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