News Column

DeLauro, Cicilline, Grijalva Introduce Legislation To Stop Gamesmanship In The Oil Markets

June 26, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC--Amid rising gas prices, Representatives Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), David Cicilline (D-RI) and Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) today introduced legislation to curb excessive speculation in the oil markets, a contributor to inflated prices. The Energy Markets Emergency Act would require the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to use their authority to stop excessive speculation in oil futures and swaps markets within two weeks. Speculators now control the majority of oil futures and swaps contracts.

"High oil prices affect every aspect of Americans' lives - not just the cost of traveling, but of heating homes, food and other purchases," DeLauro said. "The cost of gas is irrefutably affected by rampant speculation in the oil market. If Congress does not act, Big Oil will continue to enjoy inflated profits every year, at the expense of American people. The Energy Markets Emergency Act will help American families in the midst of the busy summer travel season."

"Rhode Island families are already feeling the pain at the pump, and we cannot continue to allow Wall Street to artificially drive up the price of oil," said Cicilline. "Excessive oil speculation spikes gas prices and hurts middle class families. I will keep fighting for common-sense solutions to protect Rhode Island consumers by ending these outrageous practices on Wall Street."

Grijalva said: "Inflation from runaway speculation in the oil markets raises costs on Americans on everything from the gas in our cars to the food on our plates. These price increases are not due to market forces - we're literally spending more for the sake of spending more. The Energy Markets Emergency Act will help contain costs by rolling back the influence speculators have on our oil markets."

The Energy Markets Emergency Act would curb the role of excessive speculation in swaps and futures markets under the CFTC's jurisdiction. Doing so would help ensure those market accurately reflects consumer supply and demand for energy. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has introduced identical legislation.

DeLauro is a longtime advocate for ensuring the CFTC has the necessary resources to combat oil speculation and has in the past sponsored legislation, the Wall Street Accountability through Sustainable Funding Act, to provide the CFTC with a reliable source of funding.

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Source: Congressional Documents & Publications

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