Rep. Pete Olson (R-Sugar Land) today issued the following statement in response to President Obama's proposal to punish oil speculators:
"With gasoline prices at a record high, it's no surprise that President Obama is looking to improve his image in an election year. Now he wants to blame speculators for the price voters are paying at the pump. Apparently, the President will say and do anything except what is necessary to stabilize prices and increase America's oil supply.
"Oil is a physical commodity bought and sold on the spot (immediate) market. That means the only way speculators can run up the price is by hoarding oil. Hoarding is fairly easy to prove and is not the reason for higher gas prices. The fundamental laws of supply and demand are the forces driving up the price of oil.
"The President's misguided and potentially dangerous proposal would only add to the problem. Government mandated fees will only discourage market participation, increase volatility, and therefore increase gasoline prices. This proposal is merely meant to deceive the American people and serve as a distraction from the failed energy policies coming out of this White House.
"If the President truly wanted to lower gasoline prices, he would work to increase our domestic supply. He has already admitted that the lack of supply is the reason for high oil prices, but at every turn, he just says "no": no to the Keystone XL pipeline and the 830,000 barrels of oil per day it would bring from Canada; no to expanding domestic energy resources by canceling, delaying, or withdrawing a number of lease sales for exploration and development; and, no to opening up federal land for energy exploration. America needs an energy policy that addresses our needs - access to more resources to tackle increased global demand - not political deception and distraction."