Obama Sets Out To Punish Oil Speculators

The administration believes that although traders may not directly cause the price of gas to rise, their activities do cause volatility in the market.

President Obama on Tuesday unveiled a five-point plan aimed at curbing price manipulation of the oil market.

The administration believes that although Wall Street traders may not directly cause the price of gas to rise, their activities do cause volatility in the market.

“None of these steps by themselves will bring gas prices down overnight,” Obama said. “But it will prevent market manipulation, and make sure we’re looking out for American consumers.”

The president’s proposal would increase funding for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission by $52 million this year, and would raise financial penalties for manipulation in energy markets. Congress would be required to approve the requests.

Click here to read a White House summary of the plan.

The plan is unlikely to clear the House, where Republicans are pursuing a completely different approach to reducing energy costs. However, it allows Obama to portray the GOP as protectors of Wall Street — a theme the White House believes will be a political winner heading into the general election.

During a press conference today, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) accused Obama of standing in the way of more energy production. “Tomorrow – exactly three months after the president stopped the Keystone pipeline – House Republicans will once again vote on a bill that will force the Keystone pipeline to be built,” Boehner told reporters at the Capitol.

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Geoff Holtzman
Geoff Holtzman is Talk Radio News Service's Deputy Bureau Chief. As one of TRNS's primary correspondents, he helps cover the White House and Capitol Hill. Geoff also covered the 2012 presidential campaign, following the candidates to Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, North Carolina, Florida and elsewhere. In the process, he learned that not all Motel 6's are created equal. Follow Geoff on Twitter @Geoff_Holtzman.

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