“I just pray to God they don’t come here on corporate jets,” Manchin, chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said at a Tuesday forum hosted by the LNG Allies advocacy group. Better to walk or hitchhike, he said, because “that will be the first question that’s asked.”
Chief executives of BP America Inc., Chevron Corp., Devon Energy Corp., ExxonMobil Corp., Pioneer Natural Resources Co. and Shell USA Inc. are set to testify Wednesday on high oil and gas prices before the House Energy and Commerce Committee. The hearing, which will include both in-person and remote attendees, comes amid intensifying scrutiny of oil companies whose stock values have climbed along with the price of crude, stoking new congressional proposals for a windfall profits tax.
Manchin, a key Democrat from gas-rich West Virginia, urged executives to describe their profits and oil prices over a 10-year window, including when the Covid pandemic caused fuel demand to crater. “Give me a picture of 2012 to 2022” and “show me all of that,” Manchin said.
Manchin also urged executives to walk lawmakers through all of the financial decisions and permitting milestones that are needed to produce crude. “You better know what the hell you’re doing when you walk in there,” he said. “You better have your game on. You better be ready.”