Behind closed doors before a House Subcommittee hearing on Thursday, John Hofmeister, former CEO of Shell Oil, told Rep. Ed Markey (MA-07) that large oil companies do not need fiscal support from the government.
Hofmeister's private comments reflected a similar statement he made to the National Journal:
"In the face of sustained high oil prices it was not an issue???for large companies???of needing the subsidies to entice us into looking for and producing more oil."
The former CEO argued that large companies, such as Shell, BP, Exxon, Chevron, and ConoccoPhillips, can survive with oil prices at or above $70 per barrel. Today, with oil at a staggering $100 per barrel, it's clear from Hofmeister that oil companies can easily run their businesses in the current economic climate without the help of the American government.
The former CEO's claims support a push by Democrats in both the House and Senate to end oil subsidies to large corporations. However, despite calls from Republican leadership to significantly cut federal spending, both the GOP leadership and the American Petroleum Institute arbitrarily maintain that government subsidies are essential to protect oil industry jobs.