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  • Morning Bell: Obama's New Gas Price Scapegoat

    High gas prices are not a president’s friend, especially in an election year, so it’s not surprising that President Barack Obama is trying his darndest to shift the blame for record-high fuel prices onto something other than his failed energy policies. Yesterday he made a desperate attempt to distract from those failures and redirect America’s gas price rage with a flawed proposal to punish speculators for supposedly driving up the cost of energy.

    Speaking from the Rose Garden, the president announced a proposal to spend $52 million to fund increased government oversight of oil futures market trading in addition to harsher civil and criminal penalties for manipulation in energy markets. “We can’t afford a situation where some speculators can reap millions, while millions of American families get the short end of the stick,” Obama said. “That’s not the way the market should work.”

    The implication, of course, is that evil Wall Street barons are the reason gas prices are so high, and that they’re walking away with millions at the expense of the rest of the country. (The president even went so far as to invoke Enron.) That simply isn’t the case, and even the president said that “none of these steps by themselves will bring gas prices down overnight” — a point that White House spokesman Jay Carney reiterated in a press conference later in the afternoon when he admitted “it’s hard to know” what the impact of the president’s proposal would be.

    Heritage’s David Kreutzer explains that the president’s “the speculators did it” argument is flawed on several levels. If speculators are making unconscionable profits on energy, why are they only doing it occasionally and not all the time? Why are there only speculators in oil, not natural gas (whose current price is about half of what it averaged over the last decade)? And given how the petroleum market works — for every speculator who makes money on a trade, somebody else will lose money — the president’s theory “requires an endless string of chumps to take the other side of the speculators’ deals.” Finally, Kreutzer writes:

    For speculation to drive up prices, the speculators must either cause oil production to slow down (which they haven’t) or to pull oil off the market. If the flow of petroleum and its products remains unchanged, the price at the pump will not change. If petroleum is pulled off the market, which can happen even though there are limits to what can be stored, it will eventually come back on the market.

    The question becomes, ‘When the oil comes back on the market, is the price higher or lower than when it was pulled off the market?’ The price will only be higher if the amount supplied at that time is lower or the demand is higher. In either of those cases, speculators have helped moderate price fluctuations and will be rewarded with profits. If the price is lower, then the speculators did a bad thing and will be punished by losing money.

    In short, the president’s theory that devious energy speculators are at work driving up the price of oil just doesn’t hold water. So what’s the point of all this? Action for the sake of action, in order to provide a distraction from his failed energy policies.

    If the president truly wanted to lower gas prices, he would work to increase supply. But when given the opportunity, he just says “no.” He turned turned down the Keystone XL pipeline, which would bring up to 830,000 barrels of oil per day from Canada. His Administration has made it even harder for companies to explore and extract domestic energy resources by canceling, delaying, or withdrawing a number of lease sales for exploration and development. Meanwhile, huge swaths of federal lands have been put off limits for energy exploration.

    The other energy policies he has pursued have either made energy prices higher or proven to be nothing more than abysmal wastes of taxpayer dollars. Take for example new EPA regulations that would effectively ban new coal power plants, thereby increasing the cost of your electricity, or new fuel efficiency standards for automobiles that could add $10,000 to the cost of a new car. Then there’s Obama’s green jobs stimulus, whose poster child of failure is none other than the bankrupt Solyndra solar company that took $540 million of taxpayer funds with it.

    In yesterday’s press conference, Carney said, “The president had made clear that there is no silver bullet, there is no pixie dust, there are no magic beans that will — or a 3-point plan that will reduce the price of gas at the pump.” The president is hoping, though, that blaming speculators is all the magic he needs to convince the American people that his energy policies are not a total failure.

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Energy [slideshow_deploy]

    70 Responses to Morning Bell: Obama's New Gas Price Scapegoat

    1. RogCol says:

      Another $50M dollars to looking into and additional regulation for speculation. How many has there been so far, with nothing to show for it except lining someones pocket for the work. There has been NO proof that speculation is rampant or that is effects fuel prices to the degree it is being claimed. Another government is here to help, the most feared statement ever.

      • Vincent says:

        there is no proof? Are you kiding me. Have you not been paying attention? Why do nobodys think they are smarted than the people who advise the president? I don't get it. Foe the last few months there has been constant hearings on this matter. Have you not seen any of them? Right now the largest holder of heating oil in the North East is Goldman Sacks. The barrel is at 145. The North East just had it worst ( i like snow) winter on record ans the supply of heating oil is up. But wait Goldman Sacks bought long term contracs at 145. Are they going to take a loss? I don't think so. Do some research so you don't sound like a clue less person.

      • Tucano Fulano says:

        Quite correct. Blowhard Obama's flannel-mouthed attacks everyone except for the ONE to blame (the guy in the mirror image, Barry). $5 Trillion$ additional overspending solely by Obama and no one else pushes our National Debt to the point my grandchildren's children's tax obligations have already been spent by this clown and the other anti-Americans who hate the USA . OUT!, damn spot!

    2. Ken Jarvis says:

      Big Oil is raising the price of gas so that the HF and Murdoch's Empire can blame Obama.
      Bit Oil sets the price at the pump, Not Obama.

      Daily Beast – “4. Obama: Penalties for Oil Companies
      President Obama on Tuesday announced a proposed crackdown on oil companies manipulating the oil markets to raise gas prices—a move that Republicans immediately denounced as being political. Obama also called for more funding for government oversight. Under Obama’s proposal, civil penalties for firms involved in market manipulation would rise to $10 million from $1 million and would be assessed for each day rather than on a per-violation basis. Maximum criminal penalties would rise to $10 million as well. Republicans said the White House’s proposal would only restrict oil production.”
      Can you imagine – “Republicans said the White House’s proposal would only restrict oil production.”
      Manipulation would – “would only restrict oil production.”

      • allen says:

        Dimwit, Halfwit, Lackwit, No wonder you are broke. Markets around the World just laugh at Obie's Blame Game Munions. The Anwer is " Make all who deal in OIL Take Delivery" or a Greater Portion that is demanded now.

      • Bob Ward says:

        Hey Ken, is there any possibility that you can just go far, far, far AWAY!? You yourself, by your ridiculous entry above, so exemplify my comment below. Please see.

      • normaannieccma says:

        The Market decides the price at the pump. (When it is allowed to work properly. ) You have heard of supply and demand? Curtail the supply of anything (necessities) and the price goes up. Who has been cutting off the supply line of oil? You know the answer to that as well as the rest of us. Come on!.

    3. bentonmarder says:

      How come the President doesn't make a fuss about the long-term manipulation of the silver market by the Wall Street big banks? Is it because they drive the price down for the benefit of the electronics industry? The fiddling with the silver market is well documented. I suppose that the regulators are too busy watching porn movies on their computers—as they have been known to do on on the taxpayers' dime.

      • Tucano Fulano says:

        Guess how many tonnes of silver as well as gold is worn by women in India. The price of these metals would crash through the floor should these women sell their silver and gold holdings.

    4. Lee says:

      You really think that we Americans are stupid, don't you. Giant oil companies, while enjoying special tax perks from we American taxpayers, often in cahoots with Saudi Arabia and others, manipulate the world oil price to suit their current business plan. Speculators who know this, and who have insider information and who work in collusion with each other and with oil company executives, combine to drive up prices, and bail out when they know that they have gone as far as supply and demand will let them stretch it. Then prices would come down some, but the monopolistic oil companies pretend that 3 or 4 refineries are broken down and supply of gasoline is manipulated so that prices do not fall all the way to a true market rate. Occasionally these combined wealthy power elites use the media, which they also own some of, to run stories claiming that Iran threatens to close a critical sea route and cause an oil shortage, which of course justifies the supply and demand fearmongers and speculators to drive up prices again. On, and on, and on. But, as a tool of these barons, you go ahead and blame it on the black guy as my George Bush T-shirt says. Surely the American people don't realize what you are up to, right….. NOT!

      • Guest says:

        You just had to play the race card. The race card was maxed out a while ago. Oil companies do not get special tax perks. They are treated the same as every other business in the United States.

        All spending originates in the House of Representatives. For the first six years of Bush's term when the Republicans controlled Congress deficit spending averaged about 200 billion per year. For the last two years of Bush's term the Democrats were in control of both houses of Congress and deficit spending was 1.9 trillion and 2.0 trillion for those two years.

        More was spent on Obama, Pelosi, and Reid's so called "stimulus" bill than was spent in eight years of the Iraq war.

        Unemployment was 4.7% when the Democrats took over, it has gone downhill from there. Now real unemployment is more than twice that and the media keeps calling it a recovery. A simple fact is that the media covers for Democrats and rakes Republicans over the coals.

        The economy was not bad at all until the Democrats took over. The Democrats controlled Congress for the last two years of Bush's term so Bush didn't have any real power for those last two years. So how do you blame a man who has had no real power for over five years for what is happening now when things were much better when he did have real power?

      • Bobbie says:

        Reads to be you answered your own question, LEE!

    5. toledofan says:

      The guys been the President for about 3.5 years: we still don't have a budget, no specifiic energy policy just some convoluted go green strategy, a housing market that is down the tubes and may never totally recover, and a myraid of other major problems like a 16.5 trillion dollar debt and it's more of the same, blame everybody else. I think enough is enough and Obama needs to either do his job or leave town, Novemebr just can't come soon enough.

      • Marco says:

        Bye Bye Obozo…

      • O2BMe says:

        What do you mean leave town, isn't he seldom there? He seems to always be campaigning somewhere or on vacation.

      • Vince says:

        He didn't blame sombody. He told you where the problems is. He is not the only one. The CEO of Exxon Mobil said the same thing. The King od Saudi Araba said the same thing. The problm lies is the speculation of the gas prices. Bush said the same thing. What rock are you living under?

      • Tucano Fulano says:

        He can't do his job because (1) he has NO CLUE how to do so, and (2) doing his job properly would require he become a patriotic citizen, which he is not and never will be.

    6. Richard M says:

      Would you expect anything less from a communist sitting in our White House? His culture of corruption and scandals is what is wrong with this administration. The president is hell bent on destroying our economy. As the article stated Obama has nixed the XL Pipeline deal, and anything to do with energy production is denied in his administration.

      Oh God, when can we rid ourselves of this filth that has infected our Republic! Everyday this man Obama is in office, is another day another nail goes into the coffin of our Republican form of govt.

      We need to be really concerned in this upcoming election since a company out of Barcelona, Spain called Scytl has been given the green light to count the votes in this year's election! Outrageous. This cannot be allowed to happen, otherwise Obama will win re-election and it won't be because the people here in America voted him in. This is the most egregious criminal act that will be done by Obama and his communist regime, not to mention all of his corruption and scandals that just follow this man everywhere he goes.

      God help us.

      • Vin says:

        How do people like you live in this world while been so blind? Open your eyes.

      • Tucano Fulano says:

        Well, Rich, it's up to you and me, not God even if there is one, to oust the Marxist anti-American sociopath from D.C. Start immediately. Don't waste a second getting that two-faced flannel-mouthed lier out of D.C.

    7. Bob Ward says:

      I suppose my biggest worry remains that we apparently have a burgeoning population of flat-line thinking morons; the same of which greatly aided in bringing this freedom and liberty eviscerating Imposture-in-Chief to power in the first place. Too many zombies today will buy literally anything Obama proclaims as gospel. Shame on the Dept. of Education for after years of their cancerous and slow erosion of the minds of students by their failed mandates and teaching practices, we now have a population of mindless sheep, incapable of questioning, exploring, pondering, or reasoning others' ideas and thoughts which are presented to them.

    8. GinnyLeave says:

      More shifting from the head "shifter"… it is almost comical, were it not so seriously dangerous to the good of our country – America, that is.

      • Tucano Fulano says:

        You 'beg the question' as to whether or not Obama has any interest in doing what's right for the USA – he doesn't. His mentor, "the rev" J. Wright, taught him for 20 some years to think, feel, and say, "God Damn America".

    9. John says:

      where does this money come from that this president spends with abandon?

    10. Jim Uberti says:

      Funny, four years ago, gas prices were "Bush's fault". It was! He said it. Now it's anybody's fault but Obama's.
      He should kiss the butts of just about everybody in the media for not doing to him what they would have done to a Republican.
      The man has no shame. I would love to be a fly on the wall at his strategy meetings.
      They must have a contest to see who can come up with the biggest lies that will fly under the media's radar.
      Note to self: Just about ANYTHING they claim will fly.
      What has happened to a once-proud profession??
      And, there are fools out there who think that Murdoch controls the media. I guess they don't get to read much , and obviously never watch the major networks.

    11. ernaldo says:

      The more the moron in chief talks, the less he proves to have ANY knowledge of how a market system functions. What a disaster of a president the also unknowing masses have elected, and we will be lucky to survive this total incompetents term.

    12. Brad S. says:

      Blaming speculators is like blaming scalpers for the prices of concert tickets. If the demand for a particular concert is high, the average price of the tickets goes up slightly and the scalper is rewarded for investing their money in the tickets when they initially went on sale. Conversely, if the scalper bought tickets for a concert that is not popular – demand drops – they get caught holding tickets that they can't even get face value for. It works both ways. As gas prices go up – demand drops, so as the article states – it is a risky proposition to drive up the cost too much. The real scapegoat is the Quantitative Easing as the Fed prints more and more money making the dollar worth less and less as compared to a commodity – oil. Then again, Oblame-O has to have some strawman to throw out there for everything. ATM's and Kiosks are to blame for high unemployment . . . This guy is so clueless, I can't even bear to listen to his incoherent ramblings anymore.

      • Vern says:

        Quantitative easing – hasn't anyone here noticed that as soon as the Fed announces that they're printing more (fake) money, this is making the dollar cheaper? Immediately the price of everything goes up. Suppose the entire money supply is $100. The Fed prints $10 of paper which is considered by the markets to be worthless.Now you have 110 $ valued as if it were $100.Further suppose oil was $ 100 barrel before printing the "play" money. As soon as youannounce the printing of the funny money, I now want $ 110 for my next barrel of oil.

    13. Bobbie says:

      The President also makes it clear he isn't going to fix the problem. Paid agencies are suppose to be in place to protect the consumer! Get rid of those agencies! Nobody works under him, there's no discipline, so why add another circus? He's a waste of money! America's money! He adds more programs to hide behind when there are much better ways of handling it without pulling from the sky a new program! He needs to point to himself as chief speculator while forcing our money to go into failed alternative energy! He's highly paid, ignoring productive advice using pixie dust to cover it up, protected by silver bullets, holding America back more!

    14. opwill says:

      "For speculation to drive up prices, the speculators must either cause oil production to slow down (which they haven’t) or to pull oil off the market." The speculators don't have to take supp;y off the market. Obama has been doing that for three years. Thus, driving up the price of gas.

    15. Lloyd Scallan says:

      When will we all realize Obama's goal is to take over (nationalize) the energy industry just as he did with the auto industry? Besides destroying the coal industry with regulations, and demanding oil companies be refused tax insensitives that keep cost of every product we use low (not just pump price), he is now demanding to control the free market system by controling oil traders and speculators. How much more do we have to hear before we understand that Obama's final agenda is for full government control of this once free nation? In short, a socialist dictatorship.

    16. Mike says:

      obama tries to blame capitalism instead of his bad policies. If many of his supporters paid their fair share of taxes (public aid recipients), our country would not have the financial issues that it does have.

    17. normaannieccma says:

      Obama said he wanted gas prices to increase to the levels of Europe -albeit, gradually. So why is he not glad to admit his policies have done what he wanted done all along!! Higher gas prices are his "success!" He should be happy he has done it! and take due credit! He also told us electricity (prices) would go through the roof! Will he be glad for that, too, when it happens – soon.

      • platinumgranny says:

        He told us everything he planned to do, but the masses were so infatuated by his soaring rhetoric that they either didn't hear him or didn't believe him. Now he's doing it all and we are, or will soon, suffer for it. God Help the USA!

    18. Rhonda says:

      When is Obama going to be held accountable for his reckless spending and behavior. How long can this continue before America is financially bankrupted (I think we are already there). He has blatantly disregarded our constitution (in our faces) and NO ONE has called him on it! He acts like he is NOT accountable to anyone (all the congresspeople act this way). I think the Democrat's have given Obama carte blanc but they DO NOT have the authority to do that and it is time they (any congressperson that thinks this way) are removed from office.

      I agree with the person that said AARP has gone to the left…they are not acting in our best interest.

      • Jeanne Stotler says:

        Exactly why I dropped my membership, I belong to a conservative group ASA, same benefits as AARP, cost about the same, BUT they are for America not Communism. WE need to mae sure we get out and vote in Nov. and that the voters are legal and not controled by the Dems. as they were in 2008 and in the '90's. If Black Panthers show up at ANY polls they should be arrested and charged with impeding a legal election.

    19. With the oil that we have in this country and Canada we could effectively tell OPEC to pound sand. The President speaketh with fork tongue when he praises Brazil for their oil exploration, esp since mr. soros is a major stock holder in Petrobas, but limits ours. Then takes credit for the Bush administrations policies and decisions that have come to fruition in this presidents term of office.

    20. Mary......WI says:

      Obama is an incompetent president. Vote him out in Nov.!

    21. guest says:

      I would not characterize Obama's energy policies as "failed." I think energy prices are headed exactly where he intended them to head. Let's not forget his stated intention to put the coal industry out of business, nor more recently his spokesperson's non-response when asked how high is too high for gasoline prices.

      • Bobbie says:

        lets also keep in mind the reason he said he wanted to force higher prices in direct reference to man made global warming which has proven false but used for behavior control. Too much communist authority. So if he wanted to, he can easily make things right without dumping more sacrifice on America!

    22. Wayne Peterkin says:

      Obama continues to do what he does best. He is following the radical agenda to limit and eventually ration energy usage (which he promised to do before he was ever elected) while deflecting blame and attention from those very policies, all while growing federal government and spending more money we don't have. The sad thing is that the main stream media is in bed with this guy and helping him to get away with the destruction of America.

    23. Tom says:

      So now with your story every reason known to man has been accused, attempted and kicked out the door. High oil and gasoline had skyrocketed in price across Clinton, Bush and now Obama. I regularly write congress and everyone likes to blame the other side, but the answers are not coming from either side. It is time for Demopublicancrats to get behind the citizens and drill the crap out of oil, refine it and sell it cheaply. To do this every component needs to American, the drills drilling American oil should be owned and operated by legal Americans, the oil should be refined by American owned and legally operated by American citizens and the Gasoline should be sold to and by only American citizens from American owned gas stations. No oil or gas should be exported unless gas is under one dollar per gallon. We need to take America back from the globalist disaster that is the current source of this problem. There should be 50 refinerys under construction tomorrow owned and built by American citizens. This crap didn’t happen when America was a loyal patriotic nation.

      • will says:

        These are some fracking good ideas… with some assumptions that we have no reason to believe government as we know it today would ever get right. So with a willing suspension of disbelief, let's dream on and go for broke. Let's add two legs to this stool and we have the start of a national energy strategy. Natural gas can fuel the majority of vehicles, and nuclear power can replace most fossil fuels in electricity generation. And what about solving another problem along the way. There is $60 trillion in American retirement accounts, with the biggest chunk held by, oh crap what do I do now Boomers. As a recent retiree, I would love to have some energy bonds in my portfolio that pay, say, 6% tax free. How about we Boomers fund the infrastructure for natural gas distribution, and the building of the nucs. Until all this is up and running and generating huge cash flows, we might need a temporary government authorized Ponzi scheme like Social Security to pay the bond yields. At some point in time, say about when Social Security and Medicare go bust, a transition would be possible to buy out the Boomers, and use some of the continuing profits from this moon shot to augment the funding of the entitlements.

    24. Mr.Obama is fond of saying during his eructations that we shouldn't continue or copy programs and procedures that have failed in the past. If he firmly believes this, why does he continue to emulate the Carter Administration in his energy policy, which gave us gasoline shortages and skyrocketing prices all because of restrictions place on oil exploration, production and pricing by the goverment?

    25. Harley Spoon says:

      What was George Bush's "scapegoat" in July of 2008 when the gas price at the pump hit a record $4.11/gal in the middle of the Great Recession which began in December 2007 while he was president?

      Why did O'Reilly have to declare–on his FOX TEAPUBLICAN PROPAGANDA NETWORK "no-spin zone" farce–that US presidents can't control the price of gas then? Why does the forked tongued liar now say that "presidents can now control the gas price"???

      Why did the right wing media keep hammering the "commodities speculators" as the culprits in the 2008 gas price spike? Why don't they now point at the speculators since approximately 37%+ of the gas price at the pump goes directly to the commodities speculators?

      Why can't the FOUNDRY and the Heritage Society show some intellectual honesty and integrity for once? You and I both know that answer; the Koch Brothers would fire the whole kit and caboodle of you forthwith!

      The answer to all of those questions above is that THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION is not a think tank; it the anti-think tank. The Heritage Foundation is a purveyor of the Big Lie, the half truth, the outright lie, the glittering generality, innuendo and convoluted logic because The Heritage Foundation Foundry knows that its readers will sooner and just as deliriously gobble up those lies and innuendo faster than a Blue-tail Fly will gobble up feces in the barnyard and outhouse and that they will even more deliriously regurgitate them to anyone and everyone they come in contact with!

      One who (or any publication that) knowingly passes on lies is a liar and a traitor to the very notion that a truly informed electorate is the main essential for the well-being of a democratic republic/representative democracy!!

    26. Kupe says:

      I'm not a proponent of more government, but given the extreme profitability of the oil companies in recent years I'm certainly curious about how market prices rise quickly at the hint of supply friction, yet fall oh so slowly even when there's a glut.

    27. Jeanne Stotler says:

      Let's start at the top and do a full audit on all depts. and those who do business with them, this means seeing where monies are spent and for what. If the public, regadrless of Pol. assoc., knew what Gov't. officials paid for things on an everyday occurance, they would run, not walk to the polls next Nov. and insist that Dept' head be made to show, on a quarterly basis, what they bought and the cost. The expensive toilet seats and screwdrivers are a drop in the bucket to what occurs daily. There are way too many agencies and too many employees doing useless jobs. In some instances you have 4 different people doing the same job. Let's eliminate and consolidate and start on a way to balance the budget the startpaying off the debt.

    28. PatriotAR15 says:

      Can anybody say "Atlas Shrugged" or "Who is John Galt"? This is just more of the same type of insanity that Ayn Rand wrote about 50 yrs ago – or more. Wake up America – your entire future is at stake here!

    29. Earl, QUEENS, NY says:

      Don't you get tired of BHO's whining that we have 2% of the world's oil supply but consume 20%?? Even if his figures were accurate, so what?? Maybe he should also provide some other figures. E.g., how many Americans, regardless of their income, use as much fuel as BHO and his wife?? Instead of Air Force One, all the gas-guzzling limousines, etc., perhaps Barry and Michelle should just drive around in the tiny little cars which they want the rest of us to drive in. They could also use bicycles to travel around. As much as I loathe the RINO Romney and the old crackpot Ron Paul, I still say I'd give a Bronx Cheer and vote for one of the two just as a vote against the 'One Big Awful Mistake America' made on 11/4/2008. Neither of these 2 GOP lemons can be worse than BHO. The most important thing to do this year is to replace this current failed president and his administration.

    30. Mark Harms says:

      Although I believe in free markets, I do think that speculators with computer programed trading increase the volitility of the oil market (as well as most other comodity markets) because they can contro large lots of oil with a small margin. Now, companies that use futures markets to limit their risk have a legitimate reason for buying contracts on the futures market but speculators do not. I do not know about increased regulation but I do thinkthat the margins should be increased on most comodities so when a speculator loses, they lose big.

    31. I was always taught that if you want to find out someones real intentions put them in your shoes for a while. If we put the shoes of the people's concerns about gas prices on Obama what do you think he would propose? If we put him in control of the oil and gas industry what do you think would happen? The opportunity to make all those millions in profits would now be at his command. I think the result would be "drill baby drill".

    32. Mike,

      You’re right. The president’s announcement yesterday was simply action for the sake of action. In fact, the White House has had trouble connecting the announcement to anything substantive, as was noted by Yahoo! News’ White House correspondent Olivier Knox.

      It was also disheartening to hear the president repeating misleading rhetoric about the United States’ oil reserves. He always fails to mention that we’re sitting on 200 billion barrels of oil. I discuss this and more in a recent blog post: http://energytomorrow.org/blog/there-he-goes-agai… Take a look when you have a chance.

      Mark, EnergyTomorrow.org

    33. TonyM says:

      The term "oil speculators" applies to those buying and selling gasoline and oil FUTURES contracts on the commodities market. Anyone with sufficient capital to buy a futures contract can do so if he meets the margin requirements and other requirements set by the CFTC on investors and brokers who offer futures trading services. It becomes easy to be a gambler, aka "speculator", in the futures market. Prices go up on the futures market when there is a perception of a reduced supply in the future. For every speculator who buys a contract in anticipation of higher prices there is a speculative seller who believes in lower prices in the future. If speculators are responsible for higher gas prices then they must also be responsible for causing gas prices to fall. To assume otherwise would be to assume that speculators only show up when prices are rising, thus they cannot be initially responsible for that rise! Have politicians every congratulated speculators for helping to reduce gas prices when oil futures prices drop?

    34. Skifast says:

      Our President has never run a company, has no experience in financial markets and not a whisper of sense. Who takes the 'other' side of the risk trade? When an airline (AA, SWA, whomever) seeks to hedge the cost of fuel so they can price your ticket 3, 6, 9 months from now and guarantee delivery of that airplane, crew, etc. so you can board, the airline relies on a SPECULATOR to take the other side of that fuel trade. When that speculator gets regulated away, the hedge costs rise. Guess what happens next…. YOUR airline ticket costs more! Worse, AA, SWA, etal tell you to walk… they don't want to take the risk and there's no airplane. Atlas Shrugs once more:(

    35. Donald DaCosta says:

      "The president is hoping, though, that blaming speculators is all the magic he needs to convince the American people that his energy policies are not a total failure." He has every reason to believe this is true.

    36. Tony Rasavage says:

      What is going on with our government? Where are the checks and balances? Is it ok for Obama do what ever he wants and to ignore our laws in doing so. Where is the government while he is doing this are they just watching him and saying, GEE, he's done it again, oh well.

      Will someone in our government stand up and do something and earn your salary and benefits. Don't wonder what happened when you are not elected for another term. If we wait long enough there will be no government to take care of, or at least one under our constitution!

    37. Jose Luis Lira says:

      The United States of America is in grave need of real leadership. The U.S. President's Office, is not just a position for an honorable and deserving individual, but it's now clear that, with the present individual who is "in charge" at the said office … for the past 3.5+ years, we've been "treated" and we've seen the likes of a grown-up man who behaves just like a child does … one with not that much of any sense of direction, and who is irreponsible enough to blame other for the mistakes he continues to make, rather than to acknowledge that, the position he's holding, is way, way too much a responsibility for himself to handle.

    38. Jose Luis Lira says:

      An honorable man accepts, acknowledges, and is accountable for his mistakes. Obama knows nothing of it.

    39. bobgood1 says:

      Just what we need. More Federal Regulators. ob wants the Gov. to control evrything. Let's see…… I thik they call that Socialism. Yes that's it. Who cowned him ?His EPA regs. had something to do with it.

    40. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      Obama don't know jack.

    41. Glen says:


    42. John Michaud says:

      I believe, as Bill O'Reilly has proposed, the only further regulation needing enactment is to require speculators to actually purchase and take possession of the oil they trade, rather than just moving paper without ever spending any real capital. I also learned on O'Reilly that U.S. oil producers and refiners are EXporting products to other markets where prices are higher, artificially reducing domestic supply. Finally, the affect of our de-valued dollar (thank you QE 15, or whatever number Geithner is up to) must be part of any and every discussion of elevated oil prices. When the dollar is devalued relative to other currencies, the price of oil is artificially inflated because it is valued in U.S. dollars.

    43. Pockets says:

      Why do we need speculators in any Market. What service do they perform? I assume they are Regulated in some way!
      The reason I ask is to understand why the Obama administration thinks more costly oversite is necessary or appropriate.

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