Democrats: Obama Not Doing Enough to Restrain Gas Prices

Wednesday, 14 Mar 2012 12:53 PM

By Dan Weil

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Democratic congressmen are making it clear they are just as disappointed with President Barack Obama’s lack of action to halt gasoline price increases as Republicans are. Gas prices now average $3.81 per gallon across the country, about twice what they were when Obama took office in January 2009.

Democrats are upset that the president isn’t doing more to restrain oil traders on Wall Street, Politico reports. A group of 71 Democratic legislators and one independent sent a letter to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) last week upbraiding it for failing to limit speculation in the energy markets. One of the duties given to the CFTC in the financial regulation law of 2010 was to limit the amount of crude oil contracts that can be held by individual banks and investment funds.

Speculative oil trading is playing a role in higher gas prices and could help torpedo the slender economic recovery, the critics say. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who wrote the letter, says Obama isn’t doing enough to influence regulators.

“Do I believe that there has been the kind of pressure that’s needed? The answer is no,” he told Politico. “All that we’re asking and the president should be asking is that the commission obeys the law. That’s not a radical request.”


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