Speaking of which
"We cannot change the world market," said Robert Malone, chairman and president of BP America Inc. "Today's high prices are linked to the failure both here and abroad to increase supplies, renewables and conservation."
Malone's remarks were echoed by John Hofmeister, president of Shell.
"The fundamental laws of supply and demand are at work," said Hofmeister. The market is squeezed by exporting nations managing demand for their own interest and other nations subsidizing prices to encourage economic growth, he said.
In addition, Hofmeister said access to resources in the United States has been limited for the past 30 years. "I agree, it's not a free market," he said.
The executives pushed the idea that large parts of the U.S. that are currently closed to drilling - like sections of Alaska, the Rocky Mountains and the continental shelf - should be opened.
"The place to start the free market is in our own country," said one executive. [The drilling ban] sets the stage for OPEC to do what we are doing in our own country, and that is effectively limiting supplies."