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Business  (tags: gas, greed, speculators, Wall Street, money, costs, gallons, oil, corruption, commodities, congress )

- 2671 days ago -
People! Do your part! It's not supply and demand. It's not that the Chinese have cars now, either... Wall Street speculators are making us poor. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission let them. What can we do? Ideas? Please read this article.


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DC B (269)
Thursday March 1, 2012, 1:39 pm
If I find a Congressional Bill or a petition or even a political movement that addresses this, I will forward the info so we can weigh in on this despicable - and, perhaps maybe treasonable - practice. (And, excuse me, but, where are the 'Occupy Wall Street' people who-got-nothing-really-accomplished when they are needed???)

Should we maybe hang every member of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission who did nothing when they could/should have (see article). Maybe I should tell you how I really feel. haha.

Ok *gets off soap box*
I'll post the txt of the article. I'd say 'enjoy' but, well.... you know.

DC B (269)
Thursday March 1, 2012, 1:41 pm

Wall Street greed fueling high gas prices

(CNN) -- Gas prices approaching $4 a gallon on average are causing severe economic pain for millions of Americans. Pump prices spiked 5% in the past month alone. Crude oil prices stood at $108 on Friday, up from only double digits at the beginning of the month.
What's the cause? Forget what you may have read about the laws of supply and demand. Oil and gas prices have almost nothing to do with economic fundamentals. Supplies are greater than ever before in the United States. Demand for oil in the U.S. is at its lowest level since 1997.

Is Big Oil to blame? Sure. Partly. Big oil companies have been gouging consumers for years. They have made almost $1 trillion in profits over the past decade, in part thanks to ridiculous federal subsidies and tax loopholes. I have proposed legislation to end those pointless giveaways to some of the biggest and most profitable corporations in the history of the world.

But there's another reason for the wild rise in gas prices. The culprit is Wall Street. Speculators are cashing in by jacking up oil and gas prices in the very loosely regulated energy futures market.

A decade ago, speculators controlled only about 30% of the oil futures market. Today, Wall Street speculators control more than 70%. Many of those people buying and selling oil in the commodity markets will never use a drop of this oil. They are not airlines or trucking companies that will use the fuel in the future. The only function of the speculators in this process is to make as much money as they can, as quickly as they can.
I've seen the raw documents that prove the role of speculators. Commodity Futures Trading Commission records show that in the summer of 2008, the last time gas prices spiked to more than $4 a gallon, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and other speculators dominated the crude oil futures market. The commission, which is meant to represent the interests of the American people, had kept the information hidden from the public for nearly three years. That alone is an outrage. The American people had a right to know exactly who caused gas prices to skyrocket in 2008 and who is causing them to spike today.

Even those inside the oil industry have admitted that speculation is driving up the price of gasoline. The CEO of Exxon-Mobil, Rex Tillerson, told a Senate hearing last year that speculation was driving up the price of a barrel of oil by as much as 40%. The general counsel of Delta Airlines, Ben Hirst, and the experts at Goldman Sachs said excessive speculation is causing oil prices to spike by up to 40%. Even Saudi Arabia, the largest exporter of oil in the world, told the Bush administration back in 2008, during the last major spike in oil prices, that speculation was responsible for about $40 of a barrel of oil.
Just last week, Commissioner Bart Chilton, one of the only Commodity Futures Trading Commission members looking out for consumers, calculated how much extra drivers are being charged as a result of Wall Street speculation. If you drive a relatively fuel-efficient vehicle such as a Honda Civic, you pay an extra $7.30 every time you fill your tank. For larger vehicles, such as a Ford F150, drivers pay and extra $14.56 each fill-up. That works out to more than $750 a year going directly from your wallet or pocketbook to the Wall Street speculators.

So as speculators gamble, millions of Americans are paying what amounts to a speculators tax to feed Wall Street's greed. People who live in rural areas like my home state of Vermont are hit harder than most as they buy gas to drive long distances to their jobs.

It doesn't have to work this way. The current spike in oil and gasoline prices was avoidable. Under the Wall Street reform Act that Congress passed in 2010, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission was ordered to impose strict limits on the amount of oil that Wall Street speculators could trade in the energy futures market. The regulators dragged their feet.

Finally, after months and months of law-breaking delays, the commission adopted a rule in October. It was a weak version of a proposal that might have put meaningful limits on the number of futures and swaps contracts a single trader could hold. Even the watered-down regulation adopted by the industry-friendly commission was challenged in court. The Financial Markets Association and the International Swaps and Derivatives Association wanted free rein to continue unregulated gambling in the oil markets.

So today, Wall Street once again is laughing all the way to the bank, and once again federal regulators should move aggressively to end excessive oil speculation. We must do everything we can to lower gas prices so they reflect the fundamentals of supply and demand and bring needed relief to the American people.
The time for real action is now.

Roger G (148)
Thursday March 1, 2012, 2:13 pm
you have still got it very easy in the USA with the cheapest price per gallon in the world, try buying some gas in France where it is now at $2 per litre (more than 10 dollars a US Gallon)...

Fiona Ogilvie (562)
Thursday March 1, 2012, 2:25 pm
I am angry. In the backwoods mountains of Vermont where I lived until November 2011, I could not have gotten off the mountain without an automobile. This is true of many Americans who live in suburban, rural areas and other such situations. They are helpless.

Fortunately, I now live in a city that shares with three other cities a superior public transportation system included high power efficiency and high speed trains. Since I am being served by a 21st century public transportation system, I have been able to make and keep one of my 2012 resolutions to never drive a car again in order to reduce my carbon footprint.

The powers that be know some of us are trapped and they are gloating when they should be ashamed.

DC B (269)
Thursday March 1, 2012, 2:25 pm
People!!! please remember that these comparisons lack certain facts.
Gas may cost less here, but hello, we have no decent mass transit systems in most places.
We drive because there are no other options. And let's remember this, too, exists by design.
In the early 1900s LA had one of the best transit systems anywhere. It was dismantled. They needed to sell cars and tires. oh, yeah.

. (0)
Thursday March 1, 2012, 2:28 pm
The same applies in the UK - unleaded gas is $2.15 a litre (some places charge even more and the price is due to rise again due to another tax hike next month).

Edwin M (346)
Thursday March 1, 2012, 2:51 pm
I have always believed that the bulk of the blame for the high cost of gas was due to the speculators. Greed once again rears it's ugly head. As far as making comparisons with other countries on how our gas is still relatively inexpensive think about gas prices in Venezuela 12 cents a gallon.

Eternal Gardener (734)
Thursday March 1, 2012, 4:24 pm
Whatever the price, our complete dependence on fossil fuels is strangling us! Blame the ones in office and industry that damn well always have known the source is finite... like every other resource... with the exception of building soil and growing and maintaining life (but hey that doesn't generate major richness)!
If they hadn't been so focused on topics like ego power position money etc. they might actually have done their job instead... which is; WORKING FOR THE GREATER GOOD OF EVERY ONE, and made sure they would have taken accountability and had by now some need alternative energy sources implemented!

We've all been bluntly conned, duped by so-called leaders (unethical shameless self-enriching megalomaniacs)!

Philip Heinlein (474)
Thursday March 1, 2012, 4:33 pm
Anything we can do to get more choices on transportation is worth the price. Reining in the speculation sounds like a good first step.

Monica D (580)
Thursday March 1, 2012, 4:46 pm
Ideas - go car-free if you can. If you can't where you are, consider moving to somewhere with good public transport, walking and cycling facilities. The world needs more sustainable transport. If enough people start moving towards it, change will be be made.

Monica D (580)
Thursday March 1, 2012, 4:47 pm
And ... we need rules in our economic system that encourage people to truly work for the common good, rather than for individual wealth and power.

Monica D (580)
Thursday March 1, 2012, 4:49 pm
My two comments above may be connected. Individuals who move towards sustainable transport will be working for the common good in doing so.

Ron M (1644)
Thursday March 1, 2012, 5:52 pm
Here in the UK, petrol is 1.40 (average) a litre. Diesel is 1.50. Diesel used to be a better deal because it was always cheaper but demand more than anything has pushed it's price up which says more about insatiable greed by energy companies and the government. When an oil company brags about making 5.6 billion and motorists are being hit hard in the pocket, it sickens one, especially as the government will, again, add 3 pence to the tax margin per litre later this month in thier "budget". That will mean more than 60 pence will be just tax. We shouldn't be so dependant on fossil fuel because it obviously isn't doing the world's ecology any good and the majority of wars across the globe are because of oil. But although many green alternatives are on the future agenda, this government, as have and will others, slap heavy taxes upon it so again, it will be the general public who have to suffer while subsidising all the millionaires (and billionaires) who make all the country's decisions while raking in every penny. $4 a gallon would be welcome but we are paying almost $10 (equivalent) per gallon. But, we shouldn't worry as our Oxford and Eton educated gentrified millionaire Primeminister says "we are all in this together"...

Maria Shelton (0)
Thursday March 1, 2012, 6:15 pm
just use the car to go in put gas; and back home; and star using the skeats

Past Member (0)
Thursday March 1, 2012, 7:16 pm
It has taken between 50-300 million years to form, and yet we have managed to burn roughly half of all global oil reserves in merely 125 years or so. The world now consumes 85 million barrels of oil per day, or 40,000 gallons per second, and demand is growing exponentially.

Oil production in 33 out of 48 out countries has now peaked, including Kuwait, Russia and Mexico. Global oil production is now also approaching an all time peak and can potentially end our Industrial Civilization. The most distinguished and prominent geologists, oil industry experts, energy analysts and organizations all agree that big trouble is brewing. The world is not running out of oil itself, but rather its ability to produce high-quality cheap and economically extractable oil on demand. After more than fifty years of research and analysis on the subject by the most widely respected & rational scientists, it is now clear that the rate at which world oil producers can extract oil is reaching the maximum level possible. This is what is meant by Peak Oil. With great effort and expenditure, the current level of oil production can possibly be maintained for a few more years, but beyond that oil production must begin a permanent & irreversible decline. It does absolutely no service to anyone to ignore these facts and continue blaming this or that group.

amber m. (0)
Thursday March 1, 2012, 7:26 pm
gas prices suck ride bikes and run

Billie C (2)
Thursday March 1, 2012, 10:35 pm
not everybody can ride public transit. there is none here. you can't bike up and down hills if you can't breathe. can't afford a horse they take lot of care and pasture. have land but no pasture. can't sell property since nobody is buying even though it's lost 50% of it's value.
i say boot everybody in dc out starting with obama and working your way down. there is no leadership up there only fools.

Past Member (0)
Friday March 2, 2012, 2:04 am
I quit driving six years ago and now I only ride the public transportation. It's so easy for us to do that here in Sweden. Buses and trains go literally everywhere. I feel lucky.

Quanta Kiran (67)
Friday March 2, 2012, 2:37 am

Past Member (0)
Friday March 2, 2012, 12:28 pm
Thanks for the article.
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