June 25th, 2008
04:06 PM ET
6 years ago

Oil speculation: The great debate

Washington is debating the effects of oil speculation.
Washington is debating the effects of oil speculation.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - It's the $64,000 question on Capitol Hill this week: what is responsible for the record escalation on oil prices?

Speculators have taken much of the blame. But on Wednesday, one of the nation's leading energy analysts said that it's more complicated than that and the cause is multi-faceted.

"In such circumstances as these, there is a tendency to seek a single explanation," said Daniel Yergin, in testimony before the Joint Economic Committee. "History, however, demonstrates that changes of this scale and significance result not from a single cause, but rather from a confluence of factors.

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Filed under: Capitol Hill
soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. Phantom of the Oprah

    If Obama is king, God, and LORD of all- let him lower the gas prices.

    His friends around the world- especially the middle east- should be willing to help him do so.

    Did I just commit blasphemy against the great Obama?

    June 25, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  2. Franky

    "Speculators have taken much of the blame. But on Wednesday, one of the nation's leading energy analysts said that it's more complicated than that and the cause is multi-faceted."

    Ohh really?? You know what I say?? I say let's just gamble......I'll take your money just like oil! TRUST ME!

    June 25, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  3. Rob indetroit

    I thought it was called insider trading. people need to go to jail.

    June 25, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  4. too easy

    Increased Global demand (think China and India) and decreased Global supplies (think setting fire to dwindling Middle east supplies) while no effort to seek alternatives by complacent Americans.

    June 25, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  5. roger

    Bush and his oil buddys. Chaney and Mcshame are to blame for. Bush wants all the money untill he leaves the office so Bush wants Mccain to take over now to get more money out of us. Obama 08!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 25, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  6. Enlightened Voter

    Obama has continuously talked about oil speculation and again just now on CNN, haven't heard a peep about it from john mcwar but then if you close those loop holes his buddies can't get rich from oil so I don't suspect he will talk about it. He'll just keep with his campaign strategy of trashing Obama instead of talking about the issues.

    June 25, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  7. Loretta from California

    What is responsible for the escalating oil prices?

    Speculation = maybe

    Greed= definitely

    June 25, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  8. Darth Vadik, CA

    How about we throw a few bookies in jail?

    June 25, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  9. FactCheck

    Wasn't this the same Daniel Yergin that wrote a book blaming the Cold War on American misconception? He sure does like to spread around the blame.

    June 25, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  10. aware

    Warren Buffet said the problem is not speculators but supply and demand! I agree! :)

    June 25, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  11. From a True Democrat

    Phantom, you sure did. That's ok. We will still win this November without your vote.

    Obama 08

    June 25, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  12. Ian

    Oil companies are purposefully NOT drilling on land that they have leased, essentially lowering the supply. Isn't this the same thing Enron did?

    June 25, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  13. independent

    the entire oil industry are theives!

    June 25, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  14. Ian

    Oil is traded in U.S. dollars. Our government is deflating the value of the dollar, which is why it takes more dollars to purchase a barrel of oil.

    June 25, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  15. Save America

    Bush has bankrupted America. The Great American rip-off.
    USA needs to make oil a public utility and nationalize all energy resources. For the people, by the people not for fake American Corporations owned by foreign inverstors that support terrorism–not by the Saudi and OPEC partners in crime.

    June 25, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  16. Save America

    Demand hasn't increase double like the price.
    Follow the money<– it's the Bush Enron loophole for his friends not mine.

    June 25, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  17. Tell the truth

    Tell the energy analysts that Enron pulled the sheets over their eyes and the public's eyes. Look at the Speculators. I smell another enron crime.

    June 25, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  18. MISS CLEO!

    Phantom of the Oprah........If Obama is king, God, and LORD of all- let him lower the gas prices.
    His friends around the world- especially the middle east- should be willing to help him do so.
    Did I just commit blasphemy against the great Obama?NO TAKE 7
    STEPS BACKWARDS 2x ....I will forgive you .....MS CLEO!!!!

    June 25, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  19. Shiloh Everett

    Evron loophole and big oil-more counries using oil. Can't stop it all but we can stop speculator and tax wind fall profits while we tap more ecological and economical energy sources and build fuel efficient cars (which we could have had for years). Nuclear is not the answer. Not currently. It is not safe. Go to Public Citizen .com and check it out. Most ot these plants are built without proper safeguards or safe plans for waste. We have waste sites now that are full and we arre bringing in waste from outside the US. The Hanford site clean up was stopped by Bush in 2006. MOst of our plants are built and run by AREVA, a French company with a bad record of nuclear pollution in their own country. NUCLEAR RELAPSE is a BUSH/McCAIN agenda. The rise in gas prices is surely a part of making us accept it.

    June 25, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  20. Check McCain's record

    John Mcbush has voted against EVERY energy efficiency policy since he has been in office, over 30 yrs. Believe me people he could care less about energy, conservation or the environment. He is just jumping on Obama's bandwagon. Mcbush will drop these issues if he is elected. Look at his voting record and see for yourself! BTW Obama has a comprehensive energy plan on his website. Check it out.

    June 25, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  21. Vig

    George Bush is responsible -duh!

    June 25, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  22. CLINTON 08 VP

    MAYBE THEY SHOULD START DRILLING ON MCCAIN'S HEAD TO SEE IF THERE ARE ANY BRAINS INSIDE, HIM, THE SAME AS HIS DADDY BUSH WHOSE ONE OF HIS MAIN FOCUS WAS ON IRAQ'S OIL, IS NOW LOOKING FOR NEW OIL FINDINGS (IN THE MEXICAN GULF) AND FOR ALTERNATIVE WAYS FOR ENERGY ONLY MAKES US BELIEVE THAT HIM, DADDY BUSH, AND THE REPUBLICAN PARTY CAN'T CONTROL THEIR GREED TO TRY AND FILL THEIR OWN POCKETS IN THE END...

    UNITED WE ARE STRONGER

    OBAMA (P) & CLINTON (VP) 2008-2014

    NO TO MR. BUSH II (MCCAIN), MR. WAR, MR. KILL, MR. NO BRAINS...

    June 25, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  23. Independent-woman-4-Obama

    Ignorant people continue with their ignorant statements! There is an old saying "JEALOUSY TAKES MANY FORMS."

    WHY HASN'T CNN DONE SOME INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING ON THE ENRON LOOPHOLE?

    Voters need the facts, truth! Not pandering!

    A VOTE FOR MCCAIN IS A VOTE FOR MORE WAR

    MORE TROOPS DYING FOR OIL

    A WAR WITH IRAN

    MORE TROOPS DYING, BEING MAIMED & COMMITTING SUICIDE (why don't McCain supporters tell us otherwise?)

    MORE NATIONAL DEBT.......... OVER $10 TRILLION AND COUNTING.

    OWED TO? CHINA, SAUDI ARABIA & DUBAI........ THANKS REPUBLICANS........ AND YOU PEOPLE WANT MORE OF THE SAME????????????????????????????????????????????????

    June 25, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  24. BIFF, BIFFINGTON...

    ENLIGHTENED VOTER:
    Obama has continuously talked about oil speculation and again just now on CNN, haven't heard a peep about it from john mcwar but then if you close those loop holes his buddies can't get rich from oil so I don't suspect he will talk about it. He'll just keep with his campaign strategy of trashing Obama instead of talking about the issues.

    I AGREE WITH YOU... BUT MCSWINE "CANT" SUPPORT CLOSING THE LOOPHOLE (OR TALK ABOUT IT)...

    HIS TOP ECONOMIC GUY "AUTHORED" THE LOOPHOLE!!! Phil Gramm works for McCains campaign.

    June 25, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  25. Capt. Smash, Salt Lake City, Utah

    All Iran has to do is stop exporting oil for one month the futures market would trade oil at 300.00 a barrel it would bring America in the rest of the world to it"s knees. Trust me this is there best attack is to shut off the supply of oil.

    Iran is OPEC’s second-largest exporter after Saudi Arabia, and is the fourth-largest exporter of crude oil globally after Saudi Arabia, Russia, and Norway. Natural gas accounts for half of Iran’s total domestic energy consumption, while the remaining half is predominately oil consumption. The continued exploration and production of the offshore South Pars natural gas field in the Persian Gulf is a key part of in Iran’s energy sector development plan.

    Boy O Boy I hope everyone is ready to pay 12.00 a gallon for gas. If the Bush Crime Family attacks Iran; you think Oil prices are high now, you just wait! This will seal the deal for Obama mark my words the back-lash from this will come down hard on the Rethuglicans.

    June 25, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
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