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Senators Leery of ChevronTexaco's Purchase of Unocal

Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) led the group of senators, which includes Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), who say that the $18.4 billion deal would put too much oil into too few corporate hands. The acquisition still needs approval by the Federal Trade Commission.

Senator Schumer said in a prepared statement, "The bottom line is, the price of gas is going way up and competition is going way down. Without regulating the mergers of these behemoth oil companies, gas prices will continue to skyrocket, lining the pockets of Big Oil and bilking American consumers."

In past mergers, the FTC has forced companies to sell refineries and service stations to protect consumer interests. But Unocal sold all of its stations and refineries in 1997. A spokesperson for ChevronTexaco says it wants to buy Unocal because of its large reserves of oil and gas and the company lacks the cash reserves to deliver the oil products to the pumps. ChevronTexaco, which earned a $13.3 billion profit last year, has the resources to bring the needed gas to America's service stations.