President Calls for Tougher Penalties on Oil Speculation


Ira Wexler/NATSO

With gasoline prices just shy of $4 per gallon, President Obama last week urged Congress to toughen penalties for manipulation of oil markets and called for stricter government oversight of energy markets.

The president called for better monitoring of market activity; increasing authority at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, raising penalties for illegal manipulation, requiring oil traders to finance transactions with more of their own money, and creating stricter penalties for illegal market manipulation.

Independent analysts blame rising gas prices on soaring demand in growing economies like China and India coupled with unrest in the Middle East, which fuels fears of potential future supply disruptions. Analysts also say fuel prices may already have peaked for the summer.

The U.S. average retail price of regular gasoline decreased 1.7 cents last week to $3.92 per gallon, 8 cents per gallon higher than the same time last year. The national average diesel fuel price decreased 2.1 cents to $4.13 per gallon, 2 cents per gallon higher than the same period a year earlier.


This article originally ran in NATSO News Weekly (NNW). NNW, NATSO's electronic newsletter, is packed with the latest updates on government and business issues affecting the truckstop and travel plaza industry. Every Monday it is emailed to NATSO members only. 

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