March 06, 2012

Manchin, Rahall and Rockefeller Unite Behind Efforts to Curb Oil Speculators | WVNS News

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) joined together on Tuesday, March 6 to urge a federal watchdog to do more to make sure that a few Wall Street insiders are not impacting the price of gas for struggling families.

Rockefeller, Manchin and Rahall sent a letter to the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) asking the agency to implement new policies to better regulate oil speculation as required by the Wall Street reform law passed in 2010.

"It's unacceptable that a few people on Wall Street trying to make an easy profit can mean higher gas prices for West Virginians," said Senator Rockefeller. "The CFTC needs to do its job better so that struggling families trying to make ends meet aren't paying more because Wall Street insiders are betting against them. Last spring I called on the CFTC to better control these activities and it's extremely frustrating that they have yet to take any action."

Senator Manchin joined Rockefeller's call.

"We need to do everything in our power to crack down on these out-of-control price hikes," said Manchin. "By some accounts, speculators have increased the price of a barrel of oil by as much as 25 percent, so I'm urging the Commodities Futures Trading Commission to step in and put a stop to these abuses so that West Virginia families don't have to pay the price."

Congressman Rahall also added remarks to those made by West Virginia's senators.

"Family budgets are suffering at the hands of market speculating that continues to drive our domestic gas prices ridiculously higher," said Rep. Rahall.

According to the release from Sen. Rockefeller's office, oil speculators look to profit by betting where oil prices will be at a set time in the future. Many experts agree that this irresponsible betting must end and that these few investors are controlling too much of the market. Even Commissioner Bart Chilton, one of the five members of the CFTC, recently said that oil speculation could add $7-14 to every tank of gas that is purchased.

Oil speculation was also considered one of the root causes for why gas prices rose so much, so quickly in the summer of 2008.

By:  Douglas Fritz