Jack McEvoy on August 22, 2022
Democratic Pennsylvania senatorial candidate and lieutenant governor John Fetterman called for prosecuting executives of oil and food companies in a Sunday guest column for local media outlet Times Leader.
Fetterman blamed executives of large oil and food companies for the high prices that Americans are experiencing at gas stations and grocery stores across the country, stating that he would “crack down” on CEOs to bring down costs, according to the opinion column. The senatorial candidate juxtaposed the record profits of companies like Chevron, Exxon and Tyson, a large food company, with the high prices of gas and basic necessities.
In the column, Fetterman promised to go after corporate greed by “prosecuting the executives of these huge corporations, including the big oil companies and meatpacking companies who are artificially driving up prices, gouging consumers at the pump and at the grocery store.” “It’s gross, and deeply unpatriotic, for the big corporations to be rolling around in cash while charging us record high prices for gas and groceries,” he wrote.
“The reality is that the market forces of supply and demand control oil prices, which then affect gas prices for consumers,” Mark Perry, a senior fellow at AEI and a professor emeritus of economics at the University of Michigan, told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “If oil and gas companies were really in control of gas prices and gouging consumers, why would they have let gas prices fall by $1.19 per gallon over the last few months, from an average of $5.02 in early June to $3.83 today?”
Although gas prices have been falling over the past few months, oil companies boasted record profits in their second-quarter earnings reports. The price of gas is still roughly 80 cents higher per gallon than its highest point in 2021, according to AAA data.
“In 2020 when oil prices were historically low and fell below $20 per barrel in April 2020, oil companies like Exxon lost $22.4 billion,” Perry stated. “That’s the cyclical nature of the oil business, and unless we’re going to subsidize them when they lose billions of dollars, we shouldn’t penalize, prosecute or villainize them when they have a good year.”
Fetterman leads every single PA senate poll while his opponent, Republican nominee Mehmet Oz, down by as many as 18 points in some polling, according to FiveThirtyEight.
Fetterman’s campaign did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.
Gabe Kaminsky contributed to this article.
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