WaPo: Obama ‘Crackdown’ Has No Teeth

Wednesday, 18 Apr 2012 09:44 AM

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President Barack Obama’s crackdown on gas market manipulation is little more than an election year ploy that will do little to lower prices at the pump, The Washington Post said in an editorial.

The Post noted that Obama asked “Congress to spend $52 million on more oversight, to allow regulators to set higher capital requirements in oil markets, and to mandate a few other steps.

“Many of the policies Mr. Obama proposed are fine — technology upgrades at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), for example. Yet the administration can’t offer any satisfying explanation for why they are so necessary as to require emergency congressional action. The only emergency seems to be a mindless election-year war over who’s to blame for sustained high gas prices — a question for which Mr. Obama himself has repeatedly given the most reasonable answer: those shadowy actors called supply and demand.”

Previous inquiries into gas price manipulation in 2006 and 2008 turned up little and recent history shows that gas prices depend primarily on supply and demand and the president’s plan will not make much of a difference at the pump.

“As the president has said, the real answer is not to give voters hope in false solutions — which Mr. Obama’s rhetoric Tuesday can’t help but do — but to slowly but surely get America off oil,” the Post concluded.

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