Quotes from the Senate hearing Wednesday into high energy prices and record profits earned by oil companies:------
''There's a growing suspicion that the oil companies are taking unfair advantage ... to line their coffers with excess profits. ... The oil companies owe the American people an explanation.'' -- Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M..------
''People are concerned about fairness and justice at a time of sacrifice. ... Your sacrifice appears to be nothing.'' -- Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., to oil executives after citing multi-million-dollar bonuses.------
''Price gouging laws that have the effect of controlling prices likely will do consumers more harm than good. ... In fact, price increases lower demand and help make the shortage shorter-lived than it otherwise would have been.'' -- Federal Trade Commission Chairman Deborah Platt Majoras, explaining her opposition to enactment of a federal price gouging law.------
''Petroleum earnings go up and down with the volatility in the openly and globally traded commodities in which we deal. ... History teaches us that punitive measures hastily crafted in reception to short-term market manipulations, will likely have unintended negative consequences including creating disincentives for investment.'' -- Lee Raymond, chairman of ExxonMobil Corp.------
''We fear that people are mistaking the size of our earnings for a windfall, not realizing the enormous levels of investments required to achieve those earnings and bring new energy supplies to the market.'' -- James Mulva, chairman of ConocoPhillips.------
''We respectfully request that Congress do no harm by distorting markets or seeking punitive taxes on an industry working hard to respond to high prices and supply shortfalls'' -- John Hofmeister, president Shell Oil Company.------
''We had to respond to the market,'' -- David O'Reilly, chairman of Chevron Corp. when Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., asked why the oil companies did not freeze gasoline prices after Hurricane Katrina as they did briefly after the Sept. 1, 2001, terrorist attacks.