July 22nd, 2008
12:15 PM ET
13 years ago

Dems push for crackdown on oil speculators

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/05/06/thecapitol.jpg caption="Democrats on Capitol Hill are pushing for a crackdown on oil price speculators Tuesday."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Senate Democrats say one way to lower oil prices is to crackdown on oil price speculators - investors who trade in oil contracts aiming to profit from changes in prices.

But Republicans are skeptical. Senate Republican Charles Grassley of Iowa charges that Democrats' demands to curb speculating is a "fig leaf" to avoid more drilling for oil in the United States.

The Senate is facing a test vote on a Democratic bill that would reign in excessive oil price speculation.

Grassley says it the "right thing" to further regulate oil speculating but he says Congress needs a much more balanced approach including more U.S. oil exploration and development; greater conservation and more use of alternative fuels including ethanol. Much of the nation's ethanol production comes from corn grown in Grassley's home state.

Listen: Sen. Grassley talks to CNN Radio

Democratic Senator Byron Dorgan of North Dakota, one of the main sponsors of the bill to stop excessive oil price speculating, estimates that "as much as 20 to 30 to 40 percent of the current price could be taken off if you got rid of excessive speculation."


Filed under: Congress
soundoff (75 Responses)
  1. unions are not stupid

    are you kidding me no GOP member would support this they are bought and paid for by oil money!!!!

    Be Smart America Vote Obama!!!!

    July 22, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  2. Rob

    More stupidity and ignorance on the part of Republicans. Let's focus on offshore drilling that would take at least 7 years to show any effect on prices and has no gaurentee of producing more oil while potentially creating environmental hazards RATHER than go after the traders that are affecting the prices on a DAILY basis.

    Now with more Americans driving less, the gas tax that is collected to help fix our infrastructure is in the red – but McCain still wants a gas tax holiday so even more roads can crumble and result in more job losses. Maybe he expects everyone to enlist and go off to Iraq because it seems McCain prefers to talk more about Iraq than problems here at home.

    July 22, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  3. Jack

    Why don't we hear wording from our oil companies as to their increase in drilling on the public lands they already have????????????

    July 22, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  4. TJ Johnson

    The know-nothing, knee-jerk democrats are going to get involved in the Wall Street processes and ruin this country. Hello, depression!

    July 22, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  5. Willy

    Good job democrats for taking food off my famliy's table because you refuse to drill here and drill now! Keep talking. You may get a green horn as POTUS but we can vote you clowns out and put the adults back in.

    July 22, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  6. evil empire

    SPECULATING-

    TODAY IN THE NEWS, THE HEADLINE READ, "Oil Below $128 as Worries Fade Over Dolly Damage" CNBC

    REFERING TO THE POTENTIAL GULF HURRICANE. HOW IS THAT NOT SPECULATING?

    THIS REPRESENTATIVE CONGRESS, FREE MARKET ECONOMY, AND FREE PRESS HAS BECOME ANYTHING BUT REPRERESENTATIVE OR FREE...

    NOW I'M HEARING ABOUT A BAILOUT FOR FANNIE/FREDDIE PAID FOR BY THE TAXPAYERS. THE CEO'S MAKE BILLIONS, THE IMMORAL, UNETHICAL, AND JUST PLAIN UNECONOMICAL LOANS FAIL, AND THE PEOPLE HAVE TO PAY, BUT THE CEO'S KEEP THE PROFITS? FREE TO SUCEED, TAXPAYER GUARANTEED NOT TO FAIL.

    RON PAUL WAS RIGHT. BUT THE MEDIA TOLD THE SHEEP NOT TO LISTEN TO THE KOOKS.

    I ALREADY HAVE A BUMPER STICKER THAT SAYS "DON'T BLAME ME- I WROTE IN RON PAUL!"

    July 22, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  7. Monica for Obama in Indiana

    What about the oil reserve? Bush needs to let it go

    July 22, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  8. Open Your 3rd Eye

    It's all part of the plan ladies and gents:

    Drive up oil prices, kill the economy, roll out the New World Order.

    PLEASE DO YOUR RESEARCH. GOOGLE IT.

    July 22, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  9. aaa

    dems are great and they are going to crack down on MCCAIN.BUSH AND CHENEY for fraud!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 22, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  10. Marie in California

    Newt Gingrich said the same thing not long ago! Crack down on oil speculators.....while we drill for American oil to sustain us during the transition phase from petroleum to other energy sources. So the Democrats can't really take credit for that one.

    From still another source......70% of the oil we use is foreign oil. They have us by the short hairs. We need to free ourselves by any means possible, or they will own us (if they don't already do so). As it is, we're currently on the losing side of this oil equation.

    July 22, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  11. Bob Indianapolis, IN

    But, but, but..these are Shotgun Dick and Dumbya's brothers-in-arms... Does this mean the oil bubble is getting ready to bust?

    July 22, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  12. Ian

    I read that there are millions of acres, leased by the oil companies right now, that aren't being drilled. Isn't that artificially lowering the supply of oil, and isn't that essentially the same thing Enron did???

    July 22, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  13. Vote Nader

    Abby July 22nd, 2008 3:33 pm ET

    Well, the republicans won’t go for it because it will anger their friends at Wall Street

    --------------------------------

    Have you not seen the sponsorship of the Democratic Party's Convention? Open your eyes people. The Republican Party is not the only one owned by corporations. It does explain the reversal on the FISA bill by many Democrats...

    ** Nader/Gonzalez 2008 **

    July 22, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  14. Mike - Texas

    I say GO for it!

    And when the price of oil does NOT come down then I wonder if Congress is going to launch and investigation into ITSELF as to why oil prices are so high. After all, Congress is a big part of the problem.

    But who is kidding who?

    Congress will just look for another SCAPE GOAT.

    That is what they are good at.

    And THEY wonder why their approval rating is only 9% .

    July 22, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  15. Steve

    It's about time. And while they're at it they should do something about fixing the enormous problem with the LEGAL Immigration system too and start to be more proactive.

    July 22, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  16. Chuck

    I agree. The prices are in part up due to demand, however they are up more due to speculators who are trying to make a fast buck.

    July 22, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  17. Melinda Charlotte, NC

    It is a stupid idea that will not work. All oil speculators do is try to guess what oil will be worth at some future date. That's it. It is similar to someone purchasing stock at a certain price with the hope that it will be worth more in the future. If heavy volume gets traded and it looks like the stocks will gain in value, they are worth more. Same thing with oil speculators. We may save a buck or two a barrel, but that's all. The ideas by both Republicans and Democrats will not produce lower prices. We need to explore for more, conserve more, and put some serious money in research for alternative energy sources. We all must also recognize that the transition to alternative sources of energy will be incredibly difficult. Americans tend to want to take the easy way out, and I am sorry to say, there is no easy answer to our energy problem.

    July 22, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  18. demwit

    YEAH! Crack down on oil speculators and open the stratetic reserve. That's how democrats lower oil prices. Supply has nothing to do with it..

    July 22, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  19. JoeMamma

    Drilling was never mentioned until the truth about price speculators came to light. Now all you here about is drilling. Stopping speculation will have a dramatic effect on gas prices immediately.

    July 22, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  20. Ron

    Stop the speculation and the price will go down, drill for oil here and stop most of the importing, build more nuclear plants, oh no a hurricane the price of oil goes up, speculation, oh no a plane flew over iran a war is coming, speculation..and what happens the price of oil it goes up..why did we not drill 10 years ago and we would have had this oil...elect obama and nothing will change,,he is for himself and his own he will not defend the USA, why will he not wear a american flay on his lapel???he is not american, i am proud to be an american.

    July 22, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  21. Super D

    Ohh I've been waiting for this one!

    DEMS, Yes DEMS are the problem here. What they really want to do is nationalize our petro industry. Then they are going to shut it down! That's because then they can go into their "super liberal" stuff, like have everyone ride bicycles. We will then look like a 3rd world country. But boy! we will have a low carbon footprint!

    Now, DEMS don't care how much you pay for gas! Fools! Think about it. And every Obamo idiot on this blog, can't wait for him to get elected. He'll have them so broke before they know it. But they will still call Ovomit, their savior.

    Dems are idiots, and idiots vote for Dems

    July 22, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  22. rob

    Once again the dems in congress shows why they poll so low. This legislation will only stop the smaller players out of the market because it will impose higher margins on traders. The players who speculate in these markets won't be affected a great deal.
    Obamas plans and the plans offered up by these people not only don't mention more oil production or Nuke power they glance over the fact that even if wind and solar and ethanol is a viable alternative, it will still take at least 10 years to ramp up. This congress are taking the politically correct blame everyone else game while dragging their feet and Obama is no different.

    While we are working on real long term alternatives to fosil fuel use we need to make a commitment to reduce our dependance on foreign oil by increasing domestic production,refining capacity. We can start building more nuke plants and use liquified natural gas for our cars and trucks etc.

    We cannot drill our way out of this mess as they say but, we can help our economy and the people who are having a difficult time coping with these costs while we make a responsible transition to non fossil fuels.

    July 22, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  23. michigan voter

    To LITTLE to LATE dems! By the way were is Jimmy Carter been did Obama camp get him to shut up too?

    July 22, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  24. Linda31

    At least the Dems are doing something.

    July 22, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  25. Greg Pottstown, Pa.

    Do people actually think that only repubs have anything to do with oil? If so i have news for you, oil is just as in dem pockets as anyone. look it up.

    July 22, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
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