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

Oil speculation: The great debate

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/25/art.capitol.gi.jpg caption="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. frank Honolulu HI

    There is so much news and opinion that everyone has muddled brains and cannot see any truth clearly. The oil companies count on this misdirection for their profit gluttony. The US Senate is full of paid off politicians that the oil company's have in their pockets.
    We're also paralyzed by this backfiring political correctness that has any critic muffled for fear of retaliation. Sounds a lot like the Eastern Europe governments we were all so troubled by during the cold war.

    We are not better off now.

    June 25, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  2. Enlightened Voter

    Biff, Biffington yeah your right and thanks for pointing that out. BTW love your blogs, they are the best.

    June 25, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  3. Belle2

    Clearly the high cost of gasoline is a complicated issue. We Americans need to take our fair share of the blame. It might be easy to just blame the oilmen in the WH or other industrialized countries who now want a share of the world's natural resources. But, we need to examine what we have done to cause this crisis. We drive big cars and offer no incentive to the automobile industry to increase the MPG of the cars sold in this country. We offer no incentive to those who would like to find another energy source.

    We also need to accept that part of the problem is the decrease in the value of the dollar. Now we have the mortgage crisis that makes the dollar worth even less but raising the value of the dollar and alleviating the mortgage crisis are at cross purposes and all we do is grab the first politician who says hope and expect that to fix all our ills.

    That is simply not how it works. If we want to solve the problem, we (the American voters) need to lay aside all the bitterness and partisan animosity and look for a real solution. We need to accept that neither candidate is all wrong and neither candidate is all right. Neither candidate is a good choice but this is where we find ourselves.

    McCain finds gimmicks and Obama accuses without even trying to find a solution. If we want a solution, we need to stop all this hatred and animosity and screaming at one while praising the other. We need to listen; maybe one or the other will find a real solution. As it stands now, we are giving them no incentive to find a solution. Instead we take sides and start screaming.

    This is the nastiest political season I have ever seen. It is time to change the way we discuss the issues. We (the voters) need to change the atmosphere.

    June 25, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  4. FactCheck

    Phil Gramm is one of the authors of the Enron loophole. His wife, Wendy Gramm, was the head of the CFTC, and ended up as a co-defendent with Enron on several insider trading cases (most of which she settled). Phil is the Co-chair of McCain's campaign and his top economic advisor.

    June 25, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  5. peakarach,des moines,IA



    June 25, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  6. Mom who loves OBAMA

    The republicans are so desparate for a win this November! They now have George Bush slamming OBAMA today, and trying to rally conservatives around McCain. Anytime you have Bush speaking on behalf of McCain, voters need to beware! Bush stole the election in 2000 on behalf of FL(brother Jeb was the governor), he misled the country into a false war on terror to ensure his re-election, and he thinks the country should listen to his opinion on why McCain would be a better President! As for McCain, he can't even use a COMPUTER! No more Bush lies, and no to McCain!!! The American people are smarter this election year, and we will not be misled.
    OBAMA '08!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 25, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  7. Ula Nejad- Sacramento Ca

    I thought this country was built geniuses with innovation. And if history has not taught anyone on the hill then what will? McCain should be Kennedy's next profile of courage. I think he is bold to make the shift.

    June 25, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  8. Kim

    Who is at fault? Bush!

    June 25, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  9. Enlightened Voter

    Copyright here- Phil Gramm is one of the authors of the Enron loophole. His wife, Wendy Gramm, was the head of the CFTC, and ended up as a co-defendent with Enron on several insider trading cases (most of which she settled). Phil is the Co-chair of McCain's campaign and his top economic adviser.

    June 25, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  10. Juan Grain

    So close the loopholes anyway,and if the speculators in the crude oil futures markets are not the reason then fine no harm done, but if they are then we get relief in 30 to 60 days, relief at the pump. Some say as much as 25-50 %. Congress needs to act now!

    June 25, 2008 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  11. MikeH

    FactCheck, Add that Charlie Black lobbied for the Enron Loophole.

    McCain's campaign staff is Oil Lobby central. Either McCain is doddering senile about the people he has on his campaign, or he has completely prostituted himself to them. Either way he has demonstrated he is unacceptable as a president.

    Who is at fault? No, not Bush. The corrupt wing of the Republican party (90% of the Republican Party) is at fault. Jack Abramoff knows what I mean.

    June 25, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  12. Phil, FL

    My grandchildren have been using computers since the 80s.

    Is McLame an idiot? Can't he learn? Do we not have them in DC?

    Want to go back 100 years?

    Go Obama '08, 12

    June 25, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  13. amandaleane

    I'm really sick and tired of everyone blaming george bush for everything wrong in this country. First,, he's up against a democratic congress who blocks most of what he tries to do,, second,, wake up people and look at yourselves in the mirror... we, as a society, are so wrapped up in ourselves, allowing others to think for us, lead us wrongly, and we allow it by not calling/emailing/writing our representatives and consistently voting all back into office. We as a society have also grown so soft and dependent on the government that who can really take care of themselves anymore?? gimme gimme gimme,,,, me me me,,, is there something wrong with this picture?? i do think so,,, it is NOT a supply problem- it's a GREED problem, more of that me me me attitude.... i'm all for regulating the speculators and the commodity brokers,, look at what happened to this country with deregulation in the 70's if you're old enough to remember then.... spare the rod, spoil the child,, how very true- gimme gimme gimme,,,,, shame on everyone ,,,, and for everyone who supports obama,,, where exactly is he going to get all the monies he wants to spend on this program or that program???? hello higher taxes- how much are you personally willing to loose to taxes??? btw–george bush inherited the messes like enron–the actual problem began under bill clinton,, just like illegal immigration became such an influx after bill clinton blackmailed NAFTA through congress,, so, please, be conservative in all areas of your lives,, and as for the war- for those against- i suggest each of you take several of the detainees into your own homes to support them, and see how long before they attempt to take your life. they are enemies of this country, which make them the enemy of everyone in this country. how many of you complainers and whiners have spent any thought at all on what it takes to defend and protect a country such as ours?????????

    June 25, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  14. Concerned Citizen of America 08

    Former President Jimmy Carter wanted to do something about oil back in the 70's and everyone laughed at him. Funny, only wealthy folks like him will able to afford to put gasoline in their vehicles in the not to distant future. All this outsourcing,globalization and deregulation of very important industries ( banking, energy, etc...) has destroyed our way of life in this country.

    June 25, 2008 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
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