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TRANSCRIPT: Senate Majority Leader Schumer Delivers Remarks At Press Conference Calling Out Big Oil Basking In Record Profits At The Expense Of The American People

Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke at a press conference ahead of the Memorial Day Weekend on Big Oil companies making record profits at the expense of the American people. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks:

“I want to thank our great leaders. I want to thank Senator Markey. I want to thank Senator Whitehouse. I want to thank our two great members of the House, Joe Neguse and Representative Kamlager- Dove. And I hear that Rep. Barragan is coming, but I don't see her. But she's coming, too.  And I also want to thank Climate Power and LCV for bringing us here together today. You know, Senators Markey and Whitehouse are two of the greatest climate champs that this country has ever seen, not just in the Senate, but that the country has ever seen. And they work very hard to expose the misinformation of Big Oil companies. And our House members have been great leaders on this issue as well. I want to congratulate Congressman Neguse.

“Today we're here to discuss a tale as old as time. You've heard it before. Big Oil companies basking in record profits while hard-working Americans feel the pinch of high prices at the pump.

“Instead of working to lower gas prices for Americans ahead of a busy Memorial Day weekend, Big Oil company executives are huddling to find ways to keep prices high and keep their profits soaring.

“And one of the ways Big Oil companies spend their time these days is cozying up to Donald Trump, who as we all know is no enemy to Big Oil. The Washington Post account was extremely disturbing. It's a doozy. Donald Trump holds a meeting with the Big Oil executives at Mar-A-Lago, and he promises Big Oil executives he'll gut the Democrats’ clean energy wins in exchange for a billion for his reelection efforts.

“That is sickening, and it's sickening that Donald Trump would do it. And then he's proud of it. He's proud of ruining our planet and helping these Big Oil companies. Big Oil's greediness doesn't stop, of course, with Donald Trump. A recent report showed they were among the biggest perpetrators of stock buybacks. So here, you know, even their claim that they need to pump more oil, which we despise, is false because they'd rather most of all give the money to their stockholders. And that's where the money's going.

“If they were smart and they wanted a future for themselves, they take that money and start putting it into clean energy as lots of smart business people are doing. And it's being very successful. When we put in the IRA $369 billion for clean power, that was what we thought it would be. It's a trillion going on $2 trillion. It's so popular. So this is something that where both capitalism and, green energy, a clean, a good climate, a good globe can mix, if anyone's forward thinking. But the Big Oil companies are always looking backwards, and that's to their detriment and America's detriment.

“Stock buybacks aren't good for the economy. They're not good for workers. They're not good for anybody except the Big Oil executives and their wealthy shareholders. So that's no good but it doesn't stop there. Back in the fall, ExxonMobil proposed a $60 billion acquisition of Pioneer Natural Resources. Chevron proposed a $53 billion acquisition of Hess Company— Hess Oil, two of the biggest petroleum deals in American history, two of the biggest deals in the 21st century.

“These proposed acquisitions could be disastrous for consumers. So I joined, I sent a letter, I lead a letter with two dozen colleagues, calling for the FTC to investigate. And, you know, one of the great mistakes, and this one was a Democratic mistake under the Clinton administration, they allowed Exxon to merge with Mobil. They allowed Chevron to merge with Texaco. And what was the result? Higher oil prices and less competition. So, that was a disgrace, and now they're trying to do it again.

“So, next week I'll be sending a letter to DOJ calling on them to investigate and prosecute collusion and price-fixing that may have increased gasoline, fuel, and energy costs based on the report done by the FTC. When they unfortunately allowed Mobil to merge with Pioneer, which I thought was a bad idea, the federal government must use every tool at our disposal to investigate the oil industry, hold them accountable, hold accountable liable actors and illegal activities.

“There's something wrong, very wrong, when Big Oil companies rake in the cash by polluting the atmosphere and at the expense of the American people. So we Democrats are going to keep working to shine the spotlight on Big Oil and hold them accountable. And I thank again all of our leaders who got here together to talk about this issue.”