New York Attorney General Letitia James has initiated a probe into oil companies over allegations of price gouging at a time of higher energy prices.

In a statement on Thursday, James decried the rising cost of basic goods in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and noted the jump in corporate profits.

"It doesn’t add up," said James. "My office is prepared to use every tool in our toolbox to crack down on price gouging and pandemic profiteering.”

A source familiar with the probe told CNN that James’ office will do a broad investigation of major oil companies that supply oil to the state. The investigation will also include refineries that turn crude into gasoline, as well as independent operators of pipelines and terminals under these authorities.

Oil companies have fallen under the limelight as Americans’ frustrations with rising energy costs, as well as inflation. According to a recent ABC News/Ipsos poll last week, 68% of Americans blamed oil companies a "great deal" or a "good amount" for the increases in gas prices. Only Russia's President Vladimir Putin received more blame (71%) for the increase because of his decision to invade Ukraine on Feb. 24, complicating the global inflationary picture further.

Democrats in Congress have also taken aim at oil companies for higher fuel prices.

House Democrats grilled oil executives like ExxonMobil and Chevron on April 6 for the higher cost of fuel, a charge the executives roundly rejected. Republicans have cast blame on President Joe Biden's green energy agenda for driving up gas prices.

Joining Democrats' chorus, Biden has warned companies against price gouging. After announcing a ban on U.S. imports of oil from Russia in response to the war in Ukraine on March 8, Biden said that there is "no time for profiteering or price gouging" as the nation grapples with war and inflation.

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