Advertising

The Seattle Times Company

NWjobs | NWautos | NWhomes | NWsource | Free Classifieds | seattletimes.com

Editorials / Opinion


Our network sites seattletimes.com | Advanced

Originally published November 9, 2005 at 12:00 AM | Page modified November 9, 2005 at 12:53 PM

E-mail E-mail article      Print Print      Share Share

Editorial

All ears on oil

Today, five oil company executives have the chance to explain their dizzying profits to senators whose constituents have paid as much as...

Today, five oil company executives have the chance to explain their dizzying profits to senators whose constituents have paid as much as $3 a gallon for gasoline in recent weeks. This had better be good.

Though prices have been softening in Seattle and elsewhere, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., called joint hearings before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources committee after the energy industry's raucous third quarter. Profits that jumped as much as 75 percent over last year happened to coincided perfectly with soaring gas prices.

Democrats and Republicans, senators and representatives, governors and the National Association of Attorneys General are demanding better explanations. In September, U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., was among the first by suggesting Congress give the Federal Trade Commission more authority to probe oil-company pricing.

But quickly, others joined, including Sen. Gordon Smith, R-Ore. Now, Frist says he is willing to consider anti-gas-gouging laws. Some senators are even talking about a windfall-profits tax.

We're skeptical about going that far. The oil industry points to the hurricane damage done to oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico and the investment needed to recover. But the oil companies need to do a better job of explaining their prices and their profits.

And Cantwell has asked the committee chairs to have the oil execs testify under oath — just as the Enron execs. The nation is all ears.

E-mail E-mail article      Print Print      Share Share

More Editorials & Opinion

NEW - 12:45 AM
Leonard Pitts Jr. / Syndicated columnist: The peril of lower standards in the 'new journalism'

George Will / Syndicated columnist: Huckabee's detour from reason in Obama theory

Lance Dickie / Seattle Times editorial columnist: Empower health care reform close to home

Rewind | Seattle Times Editorial Board interviews school officials

Leonard Pitts Jr. / Syndicated columnist: When punishment is a crime

More Editorials & Opinion headlines...


Get home delivery today!

Video

Advertising

AP Video

Entertainment | Top Video | World | Offbeat Video | Sci-Tech

Marketplace

Lab develops innovative vehicle technologynew
Nestled in the rolling Tennessee hills and forests, the secretive lab that developed power for the Manhattan Project is working to change the auto ind...
Post a comment

Advertising