Governor Doyle: to Call Oil Company Executives to Wisconsin for Public Hearing

Anne Lupardus, Office of the Governor, 608-261-2162

Will Demand Answers to Record Profits in Wake of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita

MILWAUKEE – Governor Jim Doyle today announced he will use his authority under Wisconsin’s trade and consumer protection law to issue subpoenas to oil company executives to appear in Wisconsin for a public hearing on the record profits earned in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

“We will issue subpoenas to the executives of the big oil companies, and demand that they appear in Wisconsin to explain how they can justify making enormous profits in the wake of a national tragedy,” Governor Doyle said. “We will also call on industry experts, independent consumer protection advocates and business leaders to provide testimony. And we will look at the effect these record prices are having on Wisconsin families not only at the gas pump, but as they pay their winter heating bills.”

Last week, ExxonMobil, the world’s largest oil company, reported third quarter profits grew 75 percent to almost $10 billion – the largest quarterly profit of any company in the history of the United States. ExxonMobil took in $100 billion in revenue in three months, more than the total yearly economic output of major oil producing countries like Kuwait.

Similarly, British Petroleum and ConocoPhillips, the world’s second and third largest oil companies respectively both reported record profits. British Petroleum reported quarterly profits grew 34 percent to more than $6.5 billion, even as energy price increases far exceeded hurricane damage to its rigs and refineries. And ConocoPhillips reported that its quarterly profits grew 89 percent, to $3.8 billion.

“More than a month ago, I joined seven other Governors and called on President Bush and Congress to investigate this obvious price gouging, and they have done nothing,” Governor Doyle said. “I believe that the American people deserve some answers. And if Washington isn’t willing to get those answers – if they aren’t willing to even ask any questions – then I will.”

Governor Doyle said the hearing will be held on December 1st in Milwaukee.