President’s Solution to High Gas Prices? More Government!

By:  Bob Adelmann
04/19/2012
       
President’s Solution to High Gas Prices? More Government!

 On Tuesday the President targeted speculators for driving up the price of oil and recommended additional oversight on the oil markets manned by an increased number of regulators to be paid for with additional government funding of $52 million. His new strategy, outlined in the Rose Garden, is “to stop spikes in gas prices that we’ve put up with every single year — the same kind of increase that we’ve seen over the past couple of months.” He explained:

 On Tuesday the President targeted speculators for driving up the price of oil and recommended additional oversight on the oil markets manned by an increased number of regulators to be paid for with additional government funding of $52 million. His new strategy, outlined in the Rose Garden (photo), is “to stop spikes in gas prices that we’ve put up with every single year — the same kind of increase that we’ve seen over the past couple of months.” He explained:

 

That includes doing everything we can to ensure that an irresponsible few aren’t able to hurt consumers by illegally manipulating or rigging the energy markets for their own gain. We can't afford a situation where speculators artificially manipulate markets by buying up oil, creating the perception of a shortage, and driving prices higher — only to flip the oil for a quick profit. We can’t afford a situation where some speculators can reap millions, while millions of American families get the short end of the stick. That’s not the way the market should work…

So today, we’re announcing new steps to strengthen oversight of energy markets. Things that we can do administratively, we are doing. And I call on Congress to pass a package of measures to crack down on illegal activity and hold accountable those who manipulate the market for private gain at the expense of millions of working families…

Included in this package, funded by the $52 million he’s requesting, would be an increase to six times the number of surveillance and enforcement police at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), an upgrade of computer technology to improve their surveillance of the markets, an increase in penalties for those miscreants caught allegedly doing the manipulating from $1 million per day to $10 million, and a demand that the penalties be applied on each transaction instead of each day.

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