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The Guardian (UK): Washington focuses on oil profits: Exxon Mobil last month reported third-quarter profits of almost $10bn (6bn), the highest quarterly earnings on record. Shell made $9bn and ConocoPhillips $3.8bn. The profits have stoked a firestorm in Washington. Monday November 7, 2005

David Teather in New York
The Guardian

Some of the world's top oil company executives will be called to Washington this week to justify the spectacular profits their firms have earned this year.

Lee Raymond, chairman of Exxon Mobil, John Hofmeister, president of Royal Dutch Shell in the US, and Jim Mulva of ConocoPhillips are expected to be questioned at a senate hearing on Wednesday.

Exxon Mobil last month reported third-quarter profits of almost $10bn (6bn), the highest quarterly earnings on record. Shell made $9bn and ConocoPhillips $3.8bn. The profits have stoked a firestorm in Washington. Consumers are angry at soaring petrol and heating prices while lawmakers have been scrambling to score political points. The Democratic senators Byron Dorgan and Chris Dodd called for a windfall tax on the industry, while Charles Grassley, a Republican senator from Iowa, suggested the firms should donate some of their earnings to low-income families and senior citizens to defray some of their bills this winter.

The companies have already begun a rearguard action. Exxon Mobil has taken out newspaper ads comparing oil company profit margins with other industries.

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