Local News

Governor Speaks Out Against Oil Company Practices

Posted January 31, 2006 5:49 a.m. EST

— Gov. Mike Easley is calling for a federal investigation into gas prices. Late Tuesday, he sent a letter to President George W. Bush concerning oil companies' multibillion-dollar profits.

The letter came in response to news that Exxon Mobil earned a staggering $36 billion in profit for 2005. That's the largest one-year profit of any company in the world. At the same time, motorists saw the highest prices ever at the gas pumps.

Easley wants a federal investigation of the oil companies and their escalating prices. In his letter, he asked President Bush to instruct Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez to immediately launch an investigation of the oil companies.

The governor also suggested that Congress enact legislation so oil companies can't use their power to artificially inflate oil prices, which led to these profits.

Oil industry executives testified before Congress in November, but they were not under oath. Easley's letter asked President Bush to get tougher with the industry -- one that the president and his family have made money from.

In their defense, one industry analyst said that in the capitalist system, Americans should applaud a company that's been so successful for its stockholders.