A Visit to the Hill – Senate Investigates Higher Oil and Gasoline Prices

By John Auers
I had the privilege of participating as a witness in a hearing held by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources last Tuesday. The stated purpose of the hearing was to “examine factors that are impacting global oil prices”. Joining me as witnesses in the hearing were four very distinguished and accomplished leaders in the field of energy market policy and analysis:
  • Mr. Keisuke Sadamori – Energy Markets and Security Director, International Energy Agency
  • Mr. Bob McNally – Founder and President, The Rapidan Energy Group:
  • Mr. Rusty Braziel – President and CEO, RBN Energy:
  • Mr. Jason Bordoff – Founding Director, Center on Global Energy Policy, Colombia University
A variety of “hot” topics were discussed, both during the prepared testimony each of the witnesses delivered and during a lengthy question and answer period where each of the Committee members who were present had the opportunity to query the panel. Issues raised covered the whole gamut of factors impacting supply and demand for petroleum, including OPEC actions, potential geopolitical flashpoints (including the ramifications of a blockage of the Straits of Hormuz), the U.S. shale revolution, world demand growth, the impacts of 2020 IMO rules, U.S. CAFE standards, and many others. Certainly one of the key issues for the Senators was how all of this has and will affect prices of gasoline and diesel for U.S. consumers. My prepared testimony was focused on the U.S. refining industry and the benefits of a strong refining sector for those very same consumers and the U.S. as a whole.
Rather than paraphrasing what was said during the hearing in today’s blog, I have attached a pdf copy of my submitted testimony, as well as clickable links both to that testimony and the hearing in its entirety. I highly recommend that y’all take the time to watch/listen to at least part of the proceedings for yourselves. I also certainly welcome any feedback on my comments and I’m sure the Senators would welcome the same. In closing, let me remind everyone that we are in the final stages of completing our 2018 Crude and Refined Products Outlook (C&RPO), and it will be available next week.   The C&RPO will address (in detail) the subjects discussed during the hearing, as well as provide a 20-year forecast of supply, demand and prices for both crude and refined products. Feel free to call or email us with any questions on this product or anything else with which we can be of assistance.

Click on the link to be directed to the hearing :“Full Senate Committee Hearing”