Senate Majority Leader Calls on FTC to Stop Chevron-Hess Merger

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Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called on the Federal Trade Commission to stop the merger between Chevron and Hess Corp., claiming it would be detrimental to consumers.

“I’m sounding the alarm against yet another proposed Big Oil merger-a $53B deal between Chevron and Hess,” Schumer wrote on X on Sunday. “It would give Big Oil more fuel to raise gas prices. Trump might be hosting dinners for Big Oil execs, but the FTC should side with consumers and pump the breaks on this deal,” the Senate Majority Leader wrote.

It has been a long-running claim of Democrat lawmakers that consolidation in the energy space would lead to higher retail prices for fuels. On these grounds, Democrats in Congress have attacked all major deals from the past couple of years as consolidation gained momentum.

Earlier this year, Schumer led a group of 22 senators to call on the Federal Trade Commission to look into the tie-up between Exxon and Pioneer Natural Resources, and the Chevron-Hess deal.

“Exxon’s and Chevron’s operations downstream would enable them to redirect Pioneer’s and Hess’s crude supply to themselves, away from (and possibly to the detriment of) their midstream competitors,” the group wrote in a letter to the FTC.

“These new market dynamics could result in price hikes for midstream customers, and such added costs are often passed downstream to retail customers, including drivers at gas stations.”

Despite the legislators’ push, the FTC greenlit the merger between Exxon and Pioneer on the condition that former Pioneer CEO Scott Sheffield would not join the board of the combined company following allegations of collusion with OPEC to control oil production to keep prices higher.

The Chevron tie-up with Hess already faces a challenge in the face of Hess’ partner in Guyana, Exxon, which claims it has right of first refusal to Hess’ stake in their joint project there.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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