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Wisconsin Governor to Subpoena Oil Execs

MILWAUKEE -- Gov. Jim Doyle will subpoena oil company executives to appear at a public hearing in December on profits they earned in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, reported the Associated Press.

Doyle told AP he plans to use authority under the state's trade and consumer protection law to issue the subpoenas.

The governor said he wants the oil company executives to explain how they reaped large profits following the hurricanes, according to the report.

"We will also call on industry experts, independent consumer protection advocates and business leaders to provide testimony. And we will look at the effect these record prices are having on Wisconsin families not only at the gas pump, but as they pay their winter heating bills," Doyle said in a statement to the AP.

He planned the hearing for Dec. 1 in Milwaukee.

Exxon Mobil Corp., the world's largest publicly traded oil company, reported last week its third-quarter earnings soared to a record $9.92 billion, up from $5.68 billion a year earlier. The firm had revenue of $100.72 billion, up from $76.38 billion.

Doyle also noted in the report that oil company giants British Petroleum and ConocoPhillips reported large profits.

"More than a month ago, I joined seven other governors and called on President Bush and Congress to investigate this obvious price gouging, and they have done nothing," Doyle said in the statement to the AP.

"I believe that the American people deserve some answers. And if Washington isn't willing to get those answers -- if they aren't willing to even ask any questions -- then I will," Doyle said in the AP report.
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