Market vies with culprit hunt in oil-price hearing

Reduced supplies and growing demand are the primary forces behind high crude oil prices, two market experts told a US House committee May 4. But several members of the Energy and Commerce Committee seemed more intent on finding possible culprits, from futures speculators to major oil companies, who they believe might be manipulating prices.The hearing quickly took on partisan tones in more than an hour of opening statements from 17 committee members. Republicans generally questioned decisions during the 1990s that restricted access to potential US oil supplies.Democrats primarily criticized past Republican resistance to alternative fuel and conservation programs. They also suggested that ...

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