22 March 2012

Message to the White House: Support Bernie Sanders's push to control oil speculation

This is my message to the White House today:

I believe it's extremely important that the president get behind an effort by certain senators, including Bernie Sanders and Amy Klobuchar, to require the Commodity Futures Exchange Commission to control unwarranted speculation in the oil markets. Responsible agencies, including the St. Louis Fed and even Goldman Sachs itself have acknowledged that a significant part of the run-up in gas prices is due not to supply and demand, but to rampant speculation, amounting to approximately 80% of futures contracts, in the oil futures markets. The president needs to declare a national emergency for this strategic resource, and demand that the Congress force position limits and other controls on speculation. Control of gasoline prices could well mean the difference between a continued recovery and prolonged recession, and failure to take decisive action could easily be a threat to the president's reelection. It is time that the president recognize that the "Masters of the universe" on Wall Street are not going to support him this time around, and that his best political course is to side, clearly and definitively with that 99%. Taking a tough stand publicly on gasoline prices and the unwarranted speculation that is driving them up, when supply and demand are actually favorable to lower prices, is the most important way that the president can do just that right now.

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