House leaders query Citgo on oil discounts for needy

Nick Snow
Washington Correspondent

WASHINGTON, DC, Feb. 22 -- Two US House Energy and Commerce Committee leaders have requested information from Citgo Petroleum Corp. about the Petroleos de Venezuela SA subsidiary's program to provide heating oil at a discount to needy US families.

Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.), who chairs the committee, and Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.), who chairs its oversight and investigations subcommittee, noted media reports over several months that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was interested in such a program.

"Unfortunately, many of President Chavez's public statements concerning the United States government suggest that his purportedly altruistic motives may camouflage his true motivations," the two lawmakers said in a Feb. 15 letter to Citgo Pres. and Chief Executive Felix M. Rodriguez.

"President Chavez has repeatedly demonstrated a warped view of the United States and its leaders, as well as bizarre concepts of fundamental justice," they maintained.

Venezuela also has developed close ties to Cuba, Syria, Iran, and Libya and other nations that have "undisputed ties to terrorism," Barton and Whitfield said.

Noting that the committee wanted to better understand Venezuela's offering discounted heating oil to select low-income US communities, they asked how the program was conceived, how and why its beneficiaries are selected, how it's being implemented, what its status is in each of the proposed communities, and whether the program violates any antitrust laws.

They also request all of Citgo's records of the program, along with responses to the questions, by Feb. 23.

In a Feb. 17 response, Rodriguez said the Houston-based refiner and marketer initiated the program as a continuation of its response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita when heating oil prices began to increase.

"Citgo's interest in a discount heating oil program for low-income people began about the same time as a request from a number of United States senators asking energy companies to provide heating oil assistance to low-income people," he said.

The discount heating oil program has been implemented through existing charities that historically have provided low-cost heating oil to low-income people, Rodriguez continued. "These charities select the recipients of the program," he said.

He said the company would attempt to comply with Barton and Whitfield's request for all records pertaining to the program but noted it would take longer than a week. "Citgo should be able to provide such copies to you within 30 days," Rodriguez said.

Contact Nick Snow at nsnow@cox.net.

Related Articles

Mitigating methane

12/15/2014

Among greenhouse gases, methane should be particularly amenable to deliberate cuts in emissions.

Falling prices may pose new test for China oil policies, speakers say

12/15/2014 China, which successfully revised its oil strategy in response to new technologies since 2008, could face fresh tests if prices stay low for a prol...

Study finds small subset of wells accounts for most methane emissions

12/15/2014 A small subset of natural gas wells are responsible for most methane emissions from US natural gas production, said a study from the University of ...

API: Producers reducing methane emissions already

12/15/2014 US oil and gas producers are reducing wellhead methane emissions already and don't need ill-conceived, overly prescriptive federal regulations, Ame...

Speakers say methane controls just part of complete climate strategy

12/15/2014 Reducing oil and gas operations' methane emissions is an essential, but far from the only, part of a comprehensive climate strategy, speakers at a ...

EPA approves Magellan’s Corpus Christi splitter project

12/12/2014 The US Environmental Protection Agency has issued a final greenhouse gas prevention of significant deterioration construction permit to Magellan Pr...

US needs more data before ending crude export ban, House panel told

12/11/2014 Much more environmental impact information is needed before the US can reasonably remove crude oil export limits, a witness told a House Energy and...

BOEM raises offshore oil spill liability limit to $134 million

12/11/2014 The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management increased the liability limit for oil-spill related damages from offshore operations to $134 million from ...

Rosneft, Essar sign terms of oil supply agreement

12/11/2014 OAO Rosneft and Essar Energy PLC have signed key terms of an oil supply agreement in New Delhi. Rosneft said shipments to India may begin in 2015.

White Papers

What is System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis?

This paper will explain some of the fundamentals of System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis and demonstrate...

Accurate Thermo-Fluid Simulation in Real Time Environments

The crux of any task undertaken in System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis is striking a balance between ti...

6 ways for Energy, Chemical and Oil and Gas Companies to Avert the Impending Workforce Crisis

As many as half of the skilled workers in energy, chemical and oil & gas industries are quickly he...
Sponsored by

AVEVA NET Accesses and Manages the Digital Asset

Global demand for new process plants, power plants and infrastructure is increasing steadily with the ...
Sponsored by

AVEVA’s Approach for the Digital Asset

To meet the requirements for leaner project execution and more efficient operations while transferring...
Sponsored by

Diversification - the technology aspects

In tough times, businesses seek to diversify into adjacent markets or to apply their skills and resour...
Sponsored by

Engineering & Design for Lean Construction

Modern marketing rhetoric claims that, in order to cut out expensive costs and reduce risks during the...
Sponsored by

Object Lessons - Why control of engineering design at the object level is essential for efficient project execution

Whatever the task, there is usually only one way to do it right and many more to do it wrong. In the c...
Sponsored by

Available Webcasts



The Future of US Refining

When Fri, Feb 6, 2015

Oil & Gas Journal’s Feb. 6, 2015, webcast will focus on the future of US refining as various forces this year conspire to pull the industry in different directions. Lower oil prices generally reduce feedstock costs, but they have also lowered refiners’ returns, as 2015 begins with refined products priced at lows not seen in years. If lower per-barrel crude prices dampen production of lighter crudes among shale plays, what will happen to refiners’ plans to export more barrels of lighter crudes? And as always, refiners will be affected by government regulations, particularly those that suppress demand, increase costs, or limit access to markets or supply.

register:WEBCAST


Oil & Gas Journal’s Forecast & Review/Worldwide Pipeline Construction 2015

When Fri, Jan 30, 2015

The  Forecast & Review/Worldwide Pipeline Construction 2015 Webcast will address Oil & Gas Journal’s outlooks for the oil market and pipeline construction in a year of turbulence. Based on two annual special reports, the webcast will be presented by OGJ Editor Bob Tippee and OGJ Managing Editor-Technology Chris Smith.
The Forecast & Review portion of the webcast will identify forces underlying the collapse in crude oil prices and assess prospects for changes essential to recovery—all in the context of geopolitical pressures buffeting the market.

register:WEBCAST



On Demand

Optimizing your asset management practices to mitigate the effects of a down market

Thu, Dec 11, 2014

The oil and gas market is in constant flux, and as the price of BOE (Barrel of Oil Equivalent) goes down it is increasingly important to optimize your asset management strategy to stay afloat.  Attend this webinar to learn how developing a solid asset management plan can help your company mitigate costs in any market.

register:WEBCAST


Parylene Conformal Coatings for the Oil & Gas Industry

Thu, Nov 20, 2014

In this concise 30-minute webinar, participants have an opportunity to learn more about how Parylene coatings are applied, their features, and the value they add to devices and components.

register:WEBCAST


Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!

 

Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected