Crude oil prices rose $4.19 in one day, closing at more than $133 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange -- that's up 18 percent so far this month and more than one-third so far this year.
"You have to sense what you're doing to us - we're on the precipice here, about to fall into recession," said Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., during the Senate hearing, according to CNN Money. "Does it trouble any one of you - the costs you're imposing on families, on small businesses, on truckers?"
Executives said they do, but that they cannot control the basic laws of global supply and demand, or the actions of speculators, and said they are hampered in developing new sources for oil because of environmentally driven bans on drilling in several areas of the U.S.
(For complete story on the Senate hearing on CNN Money, click here.)