By Lily Benitez De Luna
With gas prices reaching an average of $4 a gallon, Senators are calling for Congress to act and pass legislation that would require the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to use its emergency powers to cease excessive oil speculation within 14 days.
Independent Senator Bernie Sanders (Vt.) attributed the rise of gas prices to speculators in the energy market.
“The vast majority of oil on the futures market is not controlled by the people who use the product… it is people’s oil speculators whose only function in life is to make as much money as they can,” Sen. Sanders (I-Vt.) told reporters today.
Lawmakers collaborating on this bill are looking to assure that the price of oil is based entirely on the fundamentals of supply and demand rather than speculators.
“The American people shouldn’t have to be held hostage by Wall St. speculators… they shouldn’t have that much control over their lives,” Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) said.
The bill’s sponsors hope that this legislation will quickly advance through Congress, as did the equivalent bill that overwhelmingly passed in the House in 2008.
“Millions of American consumers are hurting… and the future of our economy hangs in the balance, the time to act is now,” Sen. Sanders (I-Vt.) said in a statement.