Schumer, Democrats desire Justice Department to prosecute declared oil market collusion, price-fixing

Schumer, Democrats desire Justice Department to prosecute declared oil market collusion, price-fixing

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WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and 22 other Democratic senators are calling on the Department of Justice to “use every tool” at its disposal to avoid and prosecute declared collusion and price-fixing in the oil market.

In a letter Thursday to Attorney General Merrick Garland and other authorities, the Democrats stated a current Federal Trade Commission examination into a prominent merger exposed proof of price-fixing by oil executives that led to greater energy expenses for American households and companies.

The FTC stated earlier this month that Scott Sheffield, the previous CEO of Pioneer Natural Resources, conspired with OPEC and OPEC+ to possibly raise crude oil costs. Sheffield retired from the business in 2016 however returned as CEO in2019 After retiring onceagain in 2023, he continued to serve on its board.

The FTC cleared Exxon Mobil’s $60 billion offer to buy Pioneer on May 2 however disallowed Sheffield from signingupwith the brand-new business’s board of directors. Pioneer, which is based in Dallas, stated it disagreed with the claims however would not hinder closing of the merger, which was revealed in 2023.

In a report, the FTC stated collusion by Pioneer and others might have expense the typical American family up to $500 per vehicle in increased yearly fuel expenses, an quantity Democrats called “an undesirable tax that is especially troublesome for lower-income households.” Meanwhile, Exxon Mobil and other significant oil business jointly made more than $300 billion in earnings over the last 2 years, “a rise that numerous market professionals think cannot be described away by increased production expenses from the (coronavirus) pandemic or inflation,” Democrats stated.

The letter calls for the Justice Department to launch an industry-wide examination into possible offenses of the Sherman Antitrust Act. It described how “Big Oil’s declared collusion with OPEC is a nationwide security issue that help nations looking to weaken

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