About the Committee
Press Office
Is Market Concentration in the U.S. Petroleum Industry Harming Consumers?
Wednesday May 23rd, 2007

The Bush Administration has allowed an increase in oil refinery mergers to go unchecked, even as reduced refining supply seems to be pushing up gas prices.  The rise in gasoline prices is helping refiners generate the highest margins from refining since at least 1990, allowing them to report record profits.  Meanwhile, consumers are facing harmful price spikes and lack of cheaper alternatives, such as E85, at the pumps.

The JEC will examine the impacts of consolidation in the oil and gas industry on competition, gasoline prices, and consumers’ energy choices.  Specifically, the Committee will investigate whether oil industry mergers and increased market concentration have enabled firms to raise their prices above competitive levels and strategically withhold capacity to keep prices high; and investigate whether firms are preventing the entry of cheaper fuel alternatives for consumers at the pump.

Opening Statements: Senator Schumer's Opening Statement
Witness Panel I: Dr. Thomas McCool, Director, Center for Economics, Government Accountability Office
  Dr. Michael Salinger, Director of the Bureau of Economics, Federal Trade Commission
Witness Panel II: Dr. Diana Moss, American Antitrust Institute, Vice President and Senior Research Fellow
  Dennis DeCota, Calif. Service Station and Automotive Repair Assn., Executive Director
  Samantha Slater, Director, Congressional and Regulatory Affairs, Renewable Fuels Association, Washington, DC
  Red Cavaney, President and CEO, American Petroleum Institute
  Dr. James Smith, Southern Methodist University, Chair of Oil and Gas Management
Charts: Gas Prices Continue to Rise, Setting New Records
  Gas Prices Rise While Oil Prices Fall
  "Unexpected" Refinery Outages and Pipeline Problems Fueling Price Surge in Gasoline
  Mergers Have Created a Highly Concentrated U.S. Refining Industry
  Consolidation in the U.S. Oil Refining Industry Rapidly Accelerated in the Last Decade
  Refinery Capacity Fails to Keep up with Demand for Petroleum Products
Location:   216 Hart Senate Office Building
Time:      10:00 a.m
Press Advisory:

Breaking Up the Oil Companies:  Is a Reconsideration of Oil Co. Mergers in the Last Two Decades in Order?

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