WASHINGTON Senators told oil executives Wednesday that high oil prices cannot be explained by supply and demand and the oil industry's concentration and OPEC price collusion is contributing to the costs facing consumers.
Executives of the five largest oil companies were appearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said there's an unexplained "disconnect" between prices at nearly $130 a barrel and legitimate supply and demand.
"We need to get prices under control.... We can only conclude that the oil markets have failed," said Sen. Herbert Kohl, D-Wis.
But Shell Oil Co. Chairman John Hofmeister said the prices can be explained, saying, "The fundamental laws of supply and demand are at work."