Shell Oil exec 'clarifies' statement to Congress

| 12/15/2005

The president of Shell Oil Co. has withdrawn remarks he made before a Senate committee in November.

These remarks have nothing to do with the White House Energy task force that landed oil company executives in hot water earlier this month.

Instead, President John Hofmeister is changing his story regarding the sale of an oil refinery in Bakersfield, CA.

In November, Hofmeister told the Senate committee that his company tried to sell the refinery before deciding to close it down but could not find a buyer.

However, according to The Kansas City Star, Hofmeister said in a letter sent this month to the chairmen of two Senate committees that the company didn’t try to sell the refinery until after it had announced the closing.

The letter claimed that Hofmeister had been mistaken on the series of events because he was outside the U.S. and was not overseeing the deal with the refinery at the time, The Star reported.

Critics have claimed that the oil companies have deliberately shut down refineries in order to restrict oil supplies and drive up prices.

In related news, Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-CA, has proposed recalling the executives before Congress because they were not under oath the first time they testified.