Take Action on Gas Prices

Tue, Sep 20, 2011 at 11:01 pm

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Take Action on Gas Prices

Here’s a petition from our ally Public Citizen, calling on federal regulators to quit stalling and rein in the financial speculators who are jacking up gasoline prices. It’s well worth the few seconds to click on the link and sign the petition. Fight back against Goldman Sachs and the other big banks whose speculation costs you at the pump!

The speculators are counting on the public not understanding or caring about commodities regulation. Prove them wrong.

Here’s OilWatchdog’s earlier post on the damage the speculators are doing. And here’s the text of the e-mail message sent by Tyson Slocum at Public Citizen, explaining the technical point at issue:

Did you know that for every gallon of gas you buy, 65 to 70 cents goes right into the pockets of Wall Street traders?

Speculation on Wall Street, while currently legal, artificially inflates the price purely to make traders richer. It has nothing to do with how much it costs to find, refine or distribute oil. It’s just the manipulation of markets for the sake of greed.

American consumers end up paying millions and millions more for fuel. And the distorted profits contribute to perpetuating our addiction to oil.

You can do something about it.

The 2010 Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act gave the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) the authority to limit speculation.

But the CFTC has not only failed to act so far, but just postponed a vote on a rule intended to crack down on oil speculation scheduled for September 22 after a huge lobbying campaign by Wall Street.

Sign a petition urging CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler to limit practices that give Wall Street speculators huge profits while driving up our energy costs.

We WILL get Chairman Gensler’s attention. Even with a problem as serious as this, he’s not expecting activists to weigh in on what he considers a technical aspect of the Wall Street reform legislation.

The reform would place restrictions (a.k.a. “position limits”) on how big a chunk of the oil market a single trader, like Goldman Sachs, can control. More effective competition is created by limiting the size of such positions.

Of course, the larger a share of the market a bank controls, the more opportunities it has to control prices and make bigger profits. So the banks have been fighting back at the CFTC, trying to get the agency to back down. It’s your job to show the collective voice of the people is bigger than the money and lobbying of just a couple of banks.

Sign the petition today and we’ll deliver your signature to Chairman Gensler before the vote (which is now scheduled for next month).

The CFTC has the power to stand up for consumers and end Wall Street domination of energy markets. It’s time for them to exercise that power.




This post was written by:

Judy Dugan

- who has written 655 posts on Oil Watchdog.

Judy Dugan concentrates as an advocate on health care reforms, oil industry issues and telecommunications. She also writes and edits foundation publications and conducts media outreach.

Contact the author

3 Responses to “Take Action on Gas Prices”

  1. Earl Richards Says:

    Doors revolve quite nicely on Wall Street. Gary Gensler is a former employee of Goldman Sachs, so he is not going to do anything.


  2. Rob Says:

    Surprises in oil trading records

    Just before crude oil hit its record high in mid-2008, 15 of the world’s largest banks were betting that prices would fall, according to private trading data released by US Senator Bernie Sanders, a report said Monday.

    News wires 29 August 2011 17:59 GMT

    The net positions of the banks undermine arguments made by Sanders that speculative trades on Wall Street drove oil prices in 2008, Craig Pirrong, director of the Global Energy Management Institute at the University of Houston, told Reuters.

    “If you believe the banks are jerking around the market and the market is going the way they were trading, the price should have been lower,” Pirrong, who reviewed the data, said in an interview.

    The records of oil futures and derivatives trades in the first half of 2008 were compiled by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and made public on 19 August by Sanders. Banks including Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and UBS AG collectively held 229,460 net short contracts compared with 101,537 net long contracts, the data show. Short trades make money if prices fall.


  3. Jon Carlson Says:

    The banks aren’t buying oil. They hold the contract until the end and then the oil companies step in locking in the high oil price and of course buying the oil from the contract. The CULPRITS are the oil companies. They both produce oil from themselves thus wanting a high price and need extra oil which they buy on the spot market and the futures market.


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