SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – During his statement on Tuesday, President Biden also had a message for oil producers, telling them to not take advantage of this crisis for the sake of profit.

East Bay Congressman John Garamendi is leading an effort on Capitol Hill to investigate claims of price gouging by those companies.

Among President Biden’s remarks on banning Russian oil and gas were these words for oil producers:

“Russia’s aggression is costing us all, and it’s no time for profiteering or price gouging.”

“Is there price gouging going on? Well, we have certainly seen it in the past when there has been some kind of international incident that has allowed oil companies to jack up their prices at the pump,” Congressman John Garamendi said. 

Congressman John Garamendi is the lead author on a letter to be presented to the leaders of both houses later this week requesting action is taken to protect Americans from gas price gouging. It reads in part:

“As American families work to make ends meet, Congress must take action to investigate reports of illegal profiteering, anti-competitive business practices, and price gouging within the oil and gas industry and hold public hearings, as appropriate.”

“The stock by-backs, at least from what I have read in the quarterly reports and from what I have read from what the companies themselves are putting out, is based upon the price of oil at $60 a barrel. Today it is over $100 a barrel. So, there is something going on here. At least the strong probability that the oil companies are racking in the money, hand over fist, and the consumers are providing them with extraordinary profits when they have to go to the pump,” Garamendi said. 

And bipartisan support at this point?

“We haven’t reached out to the Republicans yet. I would expect bipartisan support from those republicans that are in urban and suburban areas. I expect serious opposition from those in oil patch,” Garamendi said.