Thursday, June 26, 2008

U.S. House votes to curb energy market speculators


The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday overwhelmingly approved legislation that directs the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to use all its authority, including the agency's emergency powers, to "curb immediately" the role of excessive speculation in energy futures markets.

Hedge funds, pension funds and other speculators have been blamed by many lawmakers and some energy experts for doubling the price for crude oil in the last year. The Bush administration disagrees, saying high prices are the result of world oil production not being able to keep up with growing global fuel demand.

The bill easily cleared the House in a 402-to-19 vote. The Senate must still take up the measure.

The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Collin Peterson of Minnesota, the chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, would require the CFTC to act against "sudden or unreasonable fluctuations" in energy futures prices and other trading activities that "prevent the market from accurately reflecting the forces of supply and demand for energy commodities."

"It opens up a set of new tools they are not using," said Maryland Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen, referring to the agency's emergency powers.........

No comments: