Steck Wants Congress to Close the "Enron Loophole"
Democratic Candidate Says It's Time to Crackdown on Energy Speculators
Phil Steck announced today that he supports Senator Barack Obama's plan to close the "Enron Loophole" for energy commodity traders. Steck said that excessive energy speculating is one reason that the price of gas has skyrocketed.
In 2000, Enron Lobbyists successfully exempted energy traders from regulations and public protections applicable to exchange-traded commodities. As a result of this language the lobbyists succeeded in incorporating into law, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is unable to oversee oil futures.
"Because of Enron lobbyists, the CFTC does not presently have the authority to investigate cases where excessive energy speculation may be driving up oil prices," said Steck. "I fully support Senator Obama's call to close the Enron Loophole to end this reckless speculating."
Steck added that some economists believe speculation is responsible for driving up the price of oil an additional $20-$50 per barrel. Steck said that Obama's Plan calls for U.S. energy futures trading to only take place on regulated exchanges. Approximately 30% of U.S. energy trading flies below the radar as a result of trades on foreign subsidiaries of U.S. exchanges.
Steck also said he supports giving the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice the tools they need to investigate potential illegal market activities in the oil futures market.
Steck had also previously announced his support for a Windfall Profits tax on big oil companies, in an attempt to end gouging at the gas pump.