The Same Old Song on High Gas Prices;
In one of the more pointed exchanges, Representative Maxine Waters, Democrat of California, seized on the record $40.6 billion profit of Exxon Mobil in 2007. She pounded on the company’s senior vice president, J. Stephen Simon, demanding to know if gas prices would be lower if the company earned a few billion dollars less.
At another point, Ms. Waters brazenly suggested that perhaps the American oil industry should be nationalized, acknowledging that it was an “extreme step” but one that might be necessary if outsize profits and exorbitant gasoline prices continued.
“Thank you for being here today,” Ms. Waters told the executives. “If you feel a little bit beaten up on, we all feel beaten up on, so just share the pain. We get our behinds kicked every day in our districts about what is going on.”