In a grilling of oil executives by a House panel yesterday, Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., threatened to nationalize the industry if it didn't do something about the rising prices at the pump.
A report by Fox News, captured in a clip posted on YouTube.com, showed Waters challenging the president of Shell Oil, John Hofmeister, to guarantee the prices consumers pay will go down if the oil companies are allowed to drill wherever they want off of U.S. shores.
Hofmeister replied: "I can guarantee to the American people, because of the inaction of the United States Congress, ever-increasing prices unless the demand comes down."
The Shell exec said paying $5 at the pump "will look like a very low price in the years to come if we are prohibited from finding new reserves, new opportunities to increase supplies."
Waters responded, in part, "And guess what this liberal would be all about. This liberal will be about socializing … uh, um. …"
The congresswoman paused to collect her thoughts.
"Would be about, basically, taking over, and the government running all of your companies. …"
The oil executives responded, according to Fox News, by saying they've seen this before, in Hugo Chavez's Venezuela.