I found a story in the Tribune that has the context of the problem.
Hatch blows his stack over the proposed tax on big oil
WASHINGTON - Sen. Orrin Hatch angrily defended oil company profits and
challenged Democrats who sought Wednesday to impose a new tax on the oil
industry's record profits.
Hatch lashed out at Democrats for trying to “beat up on
the big old oil companies,” and scolded minority party members for standing in
the way of new energy development, then complaining about high oil prices.
“Come on, America. Wake up! I'm sick of it,” Hatch shouted.
An amendment proposed by Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., would require oil
companies to invest their profits to develop new resources or pay a tax on oil
sold at more than $40 a barrel. The revenues would be used to provide relief to
families dealing with high oil prices.
“Don't say you're somehow on the side of the consumer if your interest is
to come here on the floor of the Senate and stand with the big oil companies,”
Dorgan and Hatch had a particularly heated exchange after Dorgan offered to
correct all of the mistakes in Hatch's speech, but said it would take all 20
minutes of the North Dakota senator's allotted time. Hatch reacted angrily and
the two were cut off by the presiding officer.
“I'm somewhat stunned when my friend and colleague from Utah becomes so
exercised about the profits of the” oil industry, Dorgan said. “I question if my
colleague has even read the amendment.”
While we enjoyed gas prices of nearly $3/gallon, the poor, helpless oil companies had profits much higher than last year. For one company, profits were up more than 70% from the previous year.
"Hatch has received $97,500 in campaign contributions from oil and gas companies
since 1999, according to numbers compiled by The Center For Responsive
Orrin is bad for Utah. An Embarrassment. He must be stopped.