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We Need Action to Stop Wall Street Speculation From Driving Up Gas Prices

Speculators are helping to drive up prices for all of us at a time we can least afford it.

Millions of American families are feeling the burden of ever-increasing gasoline prices. I join them in their anger and frustration over the rising price of gas, and I want to do something about it.

I recently joined a group of my Senate colleagues in sponsoring a bill, S. 2222, which will give federal regulators immediate authority to invoke emergency powers to rein in speculators who are responsible for rapidly rising gasoline prices.

There is broad agreement among energy experts and economists that speculators are one of the causes for the rapidly rising price of gas. Domestic oil production has risen to its highest level in a decade, oil supplies are greater today than they were three years ago and demand for oil in the United States is lower today than it was in 1997. Yet gas prices continue to soar.

There is something wrong with this equation. There is no logical reason why gas prices should continue to rise if oil supplies are up and demand is down.

The American Trucking Association, Delta Airlines, the Petroleum Marketers Association of America, the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and other experts all say excessive oil speculation in the futures markets significantly increases crude oil and gasoline prices. A Feb. 27 article in Forbes Magazine cited a recent report by the investment bank Goldman Sachs, pointing out that excessive oil speculation adds 56 cents to the price of a gallon of gas.

This “speculators” bill would set a 14-day deadline for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to take emergency steps to stop excessive speculation by Wall Street traders in the crude oil, gasoline and other energy futures markets. Also co-sponsoring the measure are: U.S. senators Bernard Sanders (I-VT), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Al Franken (D-MN), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Bill Nelson (D-FL).

Today, speculators control more than 80 percent of the energy futures market, a figure that has more than doubled over the past decade. As gasoline prices near or surpass $4 a gallon, the CFTC still has not complied with a provision in the Wall Street reform law that required the agency to establish trading limits by Jan. 17, 2011.

It is time to take decisive action now to stop financial speculators who are helping to drive up prices for all of us at a time we can least afford it.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

B Allen April 22, 2012 at 01:59 PM
The information was mentioned to me by a high school counselor in MoCo when i was in there talking to her about my childs grades, or at the time the lack of. I went to a Private school where you were held accountable and they taught you, not going off worksheets and hoping you could "parrott" the info back. I have even had kids that graduated MCPS high school that admitted they did not know how to study. Oh btw, i know kids who had to take either remedial Math, Engish or Science when attending 13th grade at MC Comm College, my daughter being one of them. It was a non credit (had to pay full price as a 3 credit class) Algebra. Again, i rest my case.
Corbin Dallas Multipass April 22, 2012 at 02:01 PM
Bush presided over gas prices of $3+. http://www.randomuseless.info/gasprice/gasprice.html Also, do you have a source for "80% of MoCo public school graduates having to take remedial classes even to attend 13th grade at Mont College." besides an off the record conversation between you and a guidance counselor.
B Allen April 22, 2012 at 02:23 PM
@Corbin...I am well aware that gas prices went up during the Bush Administration and the left wing nutcases blamed him for it. Not like now, where the left wing nutcases blame everything else other than OWEbama. At least Bush NEVER said he would like to see gas at $9 but increase gradually so it does not hurt the consumers pocketbooks at one time. When the prices went up during the Bush administration, they did not remain that high for long. Even OWEbamas' energy secretary wants to see the prices go up like in Europe. http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/washington-whispers/2012/04/09/gas-prices-grow-more-under-obama-than-carter. On the remedial class thing, call MC College and ask them for that info. I don't think MC will give it out, just like they won't tell how much of taxpayers dollars are going to illegal aliens. You people should know how non "transparent" (and I use the term loosely) MC gvmt is.
B Allen April 22, 2012 at 02:31 PM
Another article with good facts...but then again those on the left won't be able to handle them. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703300904576178152820953870.html
B Allen April 23, 2012 at 01:19 AM
@Frank...and it sounds like from your comment like you are some kinda idiot. Evidently you did not pay attention in school either and cannot comprehend the written words. Didn't i say I was in talking to the counselor about her grades...I did take an active role there "richard cranium". How did you people get so stupid? I wasn't that stupid when iw as a registered dem for 30yrs...I guess the prerequisite now is that they suck out your brains and leave only enough for bodily functions so they can at least get you in to vote for them. This is my last post here to "you people", I am tired from all the laughing AT YOU, not with you.

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