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Commodity Markets Transparency and Accountability Act of 2008

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. MARSHALL. I thank the chairman. And to the chairman and the ranking member, I've just got nothing but applause. This has been a very, very difficult issue to grapple with because it is so complicated.

There is no question that America needs to do more as far as energy is concerned, and there are lots of different ways to go about doing that. And there are a lot of market fundamentals that are involved in explaining what our current price challenges are for commodities, agriculture, oil, and others.

But there is also no question that part of the price impact is due to investment money that has flowed onto these markets through index funds, investment money that was really never intended to be on the futures market. The futures markets were set up to help airlines and ag producers and others in hedging commercial risk. And liquidity was added in the form of speculation in order to enhance the hedging of commercial risk. These markets were never intended as a place to simply come and park a commodity investment. One expert has described this as being an uncoordinated, unintended squeeze of the market. And we've got to do something about it.

We have a bipartisan bill. There have been very few voices that have spoken in opposition to this bill. Some of those voices are saying we should drill more. I agree. Some of those voices are saying--the gentleman from California, for example, suggested that airlines are not in favor of this bill when, in fact, they are in favor of this bill. Those who use these markets know there's a problem. Consumers have no other explanation for why prices have risen so much.

We have a bipartisan bill. It's a good bill. I commend the chairman. I commend the ranking member. There's more work to be done on the bill; we'll be able to do that work on the bill in conference with the Senate to improve the bill. So we're still listening to folks, but this bill is an excellent start at addressing a real problem. There is no reason in the world why it ought not be passed. And if passed, it will lower prices.

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