Speaking in the White House Rose Garden today, President Obama outlined new steps his administration is taking to protect consumers from higher gas prices by cracking down on speculation and manipulation in oil markets:
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.
President Obama is asking Congress to take action right away by:
Increasing funding to hire more regulators for oil market speculation
Increasing penalties for illegal market manipulation
Giving more authority to oversight agencies to make sure traders can make good on their trades
In the meantime, my administration will take new executive actions to better analyze and investigate trading activities in energy markets and more quickly implement the tough consumer protections under Wall Street reform.
… None of these steps by themselves will bring gas prices down overnight. But it will prevent market manipulation and make sure we’re looking out for American consumers. And in the meantime, we’re going to keep pursuing an all-of-the-above strategy for American energy to break the cycle of price spikes year after year. We are going to keep producing more biofuels; we’re going to keep producing more fuel-efficient cars; we are going to keep tapping into every source of American-made energy.
Read the President’s full remarks at whitehouse.gov.