On Tuesday, President Obama outlined a package of efforts his administration is pursuing to ensure that energy traders are not responsible for “market manipulation” that drives up the cost of oil and consequently gasoline. President Obama called 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.”
Specifically, Obama suggested that Congress should provide funding to better police energy trading. He suggested that Congress should also significantly increase civil and criminal penalties for market manipulation and associated illegal activities, and give the Commodity Futures Trading Commission more authority to oversee energy trading.
“Let me close by saying none of these steps by themselves will bring gas prices down overnight,” Obama said. “But it will prevent market manipulation and make sure we’re looking out for American consumers.” [The Hill]
A recent Congressional Research Service report suggested that the price impacts are uncertain for all short- to mid-term gasoline price solutions within Congress’s purview, and that each would involve policy tradeoffs which may include “national security, fiscal, and health priorities.”
Do you support this package of proposals? What impact would more stringent oversight have on gasoline prices? On energy markets? What would be your strategy for addressing gasoline prices?