On April 1, executives from Exxon Mobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, BP and Shell testified before the U.S. House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. Members of Congress asked about high gas prices and the oil companies' failure to make major investments in renewable energy. "Putting more money into something does not necessarily equal progress," responded Exxon's Stephen Simon. The same day, Senators Olympia Snowe and Jack Reed asked the American Petroleum Institute (API) to establish a voluntary industry program to help low-income consumers "cope with rising energy costs," reports Reuters. Instead, API suggested that Congress fully fund "an existing government program that helps poor families pay their heating and cooling bills." But API turned on the charm in Rhode Island, according to the Providence Journal. It set up a "one-day interactive technology exhibit and presentation" at the State House on April 1, "to give the oil and gas industry perspective on energy issues." An account executive with the PR firm Edelman guided visitors through API's exhibit.
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