Washington, D.C. - Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee held a hearing today on the issue of high gas prices and excessive oil speculation. The committee hearing highlighted how Wall Street speculators are artificially driving up the price at the pump causing pain to millions of American consumers. Below are the Leader's opening remarks:
“Good afternoon everyone. I'm pleased to call to order this important meeting of the Steering and Policy Committee with appreciation to our Chair, Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut, who will preside over today's presentations. I'm also pleased to be joined by the Chair of our Caucus, Congressman John Larson of Connecticut and the Ranking Member on the Natural Resources Committee, Congressman Ed Markey, former Chair of the Energy-Security Select Committee. Also, pleased to be joined by Congressman Cicilline of Rhode Island, Congresswoman Donna Edwards of Maryland, our Chairman, Sandy Levin, of the Ways and Means Committee, Congressman Bobby Scott of Virginia and, also from Virginia, Mr. Moran.
“When I think about today's proceedings, one title in my mind that I give it is ‘the agony and the ecstasy,' the agony of our consumers for the price at the pump and what that means to them. Especially people who are having trouble making ends meet and how the high-cost at the pump is really an obstacle to them. Its not just a luxury, its something they must do, and they have to make ends meet. The agony is for them. The ecstasy is for Big Oil, they raked in a profit, a record profit, of $137 billion in profits last year. That's $261,000 a minute, a minute, and they're on track for another year of astronomical profits.
“Experts have been clear: Wall Street speculators are artificially driving up the price at the pump and causing pain to millions of American consumers. We'll hear more about that from our expert witnesses, and from our colleagues. And now I thank my colleagues for joining us, appreciate the presence of Professor Greenberger and Mr. Guilford and yield to the distinguished Chairwoman of the Steering Committee.”