Top Oil Execs Will Not Attend Wisconsin Hearing

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Top Oil Execs Will Not Attend Wisconsin Hearing

MADISON, Wis.--On the heels of a U.S. Senate hearing about oil company high gas prices and fat profits, the chief executives from the nation's five largest oil companies are declining the Wisconsin governor's demand to appear at a similar hearing this week. The companies are Chevron, ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, BP America and Shell Oil.

Instead Chevron, ExxonMobil, ConocoPhilips, BP America and Shell Oil USA offering to send other company officials in their place. Governor Jim Doyle of Wisconsin had threatened to seek court orders compelling the executives to testify at Thursday's hearing in Milwaukee, according to AP.

But Janet Jenkins, the administrator of the state's consumer protection division, told AP the governor doesn't want a lengthy delay in getting answers and is willing to hear from other company officials instead.

In early November, the Senate Finance Committee held a hearing for lawmakers to grill Big Oil company executives about their record-high profits and to determine if the public is being price gouged. Following the meeting, the Senate panel voted 14-8 voted to impose a $5 billion tax next year on the nation's biggest oil companies.