Gasoline Prices - Blaming Speculators

Obama’s Blame Game Continues: Who’s Behind Oil Price Rise?


To show he’s on top of our energy crisis, the president has…created yet another commission! This one – a task force from the Justice Department - is charged with ferreting out the scoundrels behind the jump in gasoline prices – surely there must be some nefarious speculators or market manipulators who can be hauled before Congress in one of those satisfying and cathartic inquiries that, at the end, yield almost nothing. But, these hard-light investigations do provide plenty of room for posturing and prime-time sound bites.

President Obama has resorted to the blame-game throughout his presidency. GW Bush was responsible for the recession, the budget deficit, extravagant healthcare costs, the quagmire in Afghanistan, potholes, global warming and quite possibly Charlie Sheen’s meltdown. Wall Street fat cats brought on the banking crisis (not aided and abetted by Barney Frank et al), insurance miscreants are to blame for soaring healthcare expenses, oil companies are guilty of sitting on leases, pharmaceutical companies should be taken out and shot and Republicans have been mulishly resistant to even the most winning proposals. Now, rascals are at work pumping up gasoline prices; what is a president to do?

On oil prices, the president is vulnerable. First, the administration is accused by U.S. oil explorers of issuing misleading information about why offshore drilling is not moving forward. At the moment, the number of rigs operating in the Gulf of Mexico is about half the level of a year ago; the head of the Independent Petroleum Association of America has said that the government has dragged its feet in issuing the permits necessary for work to move forward.

A retort: The World Needs More Speculators

There is nothing inherently wonderful about inflated prices, but it is not easy to bet that prices will fall. More short sellers in the dot-com bubble of the late 1990s, and the housing bubbles of the past few years, would have added a welcome dose of stability and sanity.

More from 2 years ago: Did Speculation Fuel Oil Price Swings?

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