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Public Statements

Energy Markets Emergency Act of 2008

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC


ENERGY MARKETS EMERGENCY ACT OF 2008 -- (House of Representatives - June 26, 2008)

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Mr. MATHESON. Mr. Speaker, this is an important first step. This bill asks the CFTC to exercise its ability to determine if undue speculation is having an impact on oil prices in this country. We've heard witnesses before the House of Representatives testify before different committees that suggest this could be upwards of $50 of the price per barrel right now may be due to this type of activity. So I think it's important we take this first step.

But I call it a first step. I would encourage our colleagues to continue to work together in a consensus way to have a productive effort in closing what's called the London loophole.

I, along with many other Members in this body, have put forth legislation to stop unwarranted speculation in foreign financial markets. Such legislation may be the best available option we have got here in Congress to address oil prices in the short-term.

When we do address this issue more fully, however, though, I also want to offer a word of caution. We should be careful not to be too overzealous. While we need to address the London loophole, we must make sure we do not take action that would damage our market-based economy.

And finally, I will say this. While we do work on market manipulation, we also need to recognize Congress has other issues to deal with when it comes to the oil price issue. There is no one single factor. As much as folks come down on the floor of the House at times to talk about just one issue, this is a very complex issue that has many dynamics affecting the global price of oil.

I think market manipulation is an important one for us to consider, but we also need to look at a more comprehensive package of issues to try to fully address this issue.

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