Oil co?s forcing prices down out of fear that new leadership in Congress would investigate them?

Great Op-Ed in the Seattle Post Intelligencer – “Election, Economy, and the Price of Gas”
Some excerpts:

Enjoy the price of gasoline now, because when the Saudis lower production, we could go right back to the $3 nightmare of three months ago…Prince Bandar bin Sultan, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States, “told President Bush that the Saudis would cut oil prices to ensure a strong economy for Election Day.” This prediction has come to fruition…

U.S. oil company executives also possess the power to allow price drops for the election. They have enough room to play — including last year’s collective $100 billion in record profits and Exxon Mobil’s own near record $10.6 billion profits this past quarter. Oil executives are full of fear over new leadership in a Congress that would investigate them.

They are particularly afraid of Rep. Charles Rangel chairing the Ways and Means Committee. Rangel could ask: Why do companies that generate record profits from U.S. consumers receive $7.2 billion in government subsidies? Why was U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Texas, then Republican House leader, allowed to hold open a five-minute floor vote in the House for 48 minutes until some $2.6 billion in tax breaks for the major oil companies were approved by a two-vote margin? Just this week we learned of the administration’s refusal to pursue hundreds of millions in fees for offshore drilling.

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