Smith Speaks Out Against Unchecked Oil Speculation at Capitol Hill Press Conference
At a well attended Capitol Hill press conference today, US Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), along with nearly twenty bipartisan Members of Congress called for immediate passage of legislation to clamp down on unchecked speculation in energy markets--a factor partially to blame for record high gas prices at the pump.
"Inflation created by speculators flipping homes in the housing market and by speculators in the dot.com market has shown us the dangers inherent in uncontrolled speculation. The devious market manipulation being crafted by speculators in the oil market is no different," said Rep. Smith, a cosponsor of the Consumer Price Protection Act (HR 6264). "This exploitation of everyday, hard working Americans is unconscionable and one of the major factors causing high gas prices," Smith said.
Smith pointed out that the Energy Information Administration estimates that speculation is currently adding as much as 10 percent to the true price of oil. Other estimations put the figure much higher.
"The bipartisan Consumer Price Protection Act will crackdown on uncontrolled speculation in oil markets that is artificially increasing the price of oil. Specifically, this bill targets those who are driving up prices with no intention to receive or use the oil. And it would limit participation in energy futures markets to those who have the physical capacity to take the product in which they are investing," said Smith.
The Consumer Price Protection Act, introduced on June 12th, now has 119 bipartisan cosponsors.
"The support for the Consumer Price Protection Act is broad and bipartisan," Smith said. "I urge the Democrat Leadership to move this bill to the floor swiftly. Innovative and effective approaches like this one should not be bottled up in Committee," said Smith.