Republicans have done everything they can to lay blame of the rising oil and gas prices on Obama. Now they may have to eat crow. In the days after President Obama spoke at a Reno, Nevada town hall on April 21nd, he stated that, he asked Attorney General Eric Holder to create a task force “to make sure that nobody is taking advantage of American consumers for their own short-term gain.”
This obviously created a stir in the regressive blogosphere and pundit universes. Regressives were blaming lack of oil drilling and regulations. Essentially they were blaming oil on everything but the core problem, Wall Street speculation. According to CNBC,
As Holder assembled that working group for the President, oil prices collapsed from a high of $114 on May 2 to a low of $94.63 on May 6, the same day the Attorney General sent a letter to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Department of Energy, the Federal Reserve and the other participants he had secured, thanking them for “your leadership and participation in the Task Force’s Oil and Gas Price Fraud Working Group.”
Some traders have gone so far to imply that direct messages have been sent from the government and related agencies to certain exchanges or firms pressuring them to curb speculation. However, most believe that it’s the increased rhetoric that’s been enough to knock oil below $100 a barrel.
This past week the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) increased margins by 25%. This entire week oil has been extremely volatile bouncing but has settled for the most part below $100 dollars a barrel.
I believe the 2008 former Senator from Illinois Barack Obama was right, we need legislation to curb energy speculation.
On top of speculative trading we also have the oil subsidies. These same CEOs who are defending subsidies in 2011 at a U.S. Senate hearing, with oil around 100 dollars a barrel said they agree with President Bush and DO NOT NEED incentives in 2005 when a barrel was at $55 dollars.
CEO Jim Mulva of ConocoPhillips, one of the world’s largest and most profitable oil companies, yesterday said its “un-American” to take away taxpayer subsidies from the oil industry. This wasn’t said accidentally; the comment was put in a press release.
Mulva later added that “nothing was intended personally,” but he would not apologize or retract the characterization.
Mulva thinks Democrats are being un-American by asking oil giants to enjoy its profits without additional taxpayer incentives, but he doesn’t think Democrats should take it “personally.” He also doesn’t believe George W. Bush was un-American, when he proposed the same thing. Simply Amazing!