Democrats seek probe of Halliburton for alleged price gouging
WASHINGTON (AFP) Nov 25, 2003
Three top Democrats in Congress on Tuesday called on the Pentagon to investigate what they charged are inflated prices charged by the Halliburton energy concern for shipping oil to Iraq.

In a letter to the Inspector General of the US Defense Department, Senator Joseph Lieberman and Representatives John Dingell and Henry Waxman alleged that while Halliburton is charging US taxpayers 2.65 dollars per gallon to tranport gasoline from Kuwait to Iraq, the Iraqi state oil company pays only 96 cents per gallon and the Defense Department's own fuel distribution center pays between 1.08 dollars and 1.19 dollars per gallon.

"Transparency and accountability are essential if the efforts to reconstruct Iraq are to succeed," the three lawmakers wrote in their letter to Defense Department Inspector General Joseph Schmitz.

"We hope you will help restore transparency and accountability to this process by undertaking the important investigations described in this letter."

The trio of lawmakers, who are among the most vociferous congressional critics of Halliburton. Senator Lieberman, who is also running for the Democratic presidential nomination, has called on Halliburton to refund taxpayers for overcharge, while all three congress members have criticized the non-competitive process by which Halliburton obtained its contract to provide oil to Iraq.