Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 17 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
Exclusive to OpEd News:
OpEdNews Op Eds   

Why You are Going Broke Filling Up Your Car

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)   5 comments
Follow Me on Twitter     Message Arlen Grossman
Become a Fan
  (12 fans)

"There has been a major debate over the last several years as to whether spikes in oil prices are caused by the fundamentals of supply and demand or whether excessive speculation in the oil futures market is playing a major role...It seems to me that debate has finally ended. We now know that excessive oil speculation is a major reason why oil prices have risen so sharply."

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT)   in a letter to Gery Gensler,  the Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, August 22, 2011

If you have wondered what causes gas prices to go up and down (more often up than down) you are not alone. Americans have been digging deeper into their wallets to keep the fuel tanks of their vehicles full, and wondering about the daily fluctulations in gas prices.

After all, why is the price for gasoline almost a dollar more per gallon than it was two years ago when oil supplies were lower and demand was higher?

The answer is now clearer than ever.

Senator Bernie Sanders released secret information compiled from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) shedding light on the major role that financial speculators--the same ones that brought on the  meltdown of our economy in 2007-2008--play in determining how much you are paying at the gas pumps.

According to Senator Sanders, "This report clearly shows that in the summer of 2008 when gas prices spiked to more than $4 a gallon, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and other speculators on Wall Street dominated the crude oil futures market causing tremendous damage to the entire economy, The CFTC has kept this information hidden from the American public for nearly three years. That is an outrage."  He  believes these speculators "are playing the same games in 2011."  Statement by Senator Sanders

Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), during a Senate Finance Committee hearing last May, pointed out that the oil futures market was set up to moderate the price and risk of petroleum for those who use it, but at this time "70 percent of the market being driven by speculators that are not the end-takers of any product." Senator Cantwell Press Release

[Cantwell hearings]

Senator Sanders introduced the "End Excessive Oil Speculation Now Act of 2011"  (S . 1200) last June that would require the CFTC chairman to impose strict limits on the trading of oil speculators.

In his August 22 letter to CFTC Chairman Gensler, Senator Sanders urged the chairman to convene an emergency meeting of the CFTC "to impose strong position limits that would eliminate excessive oil speculation as soon as possible."

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law enacted last year required the CFTC to impose strict  limits on oil speculators by January 17, 2011. The CFTC is "breaking the law" by not doing so, Senator Sanders wrote to Gensler.   Letter to CFTC Commissioner

The Commission claims it lacks enough information. Senator Sander, despite three years of collecting data. Senator Sanders called their excuses "laughable."

"The American people have a right to know exactly who caused gas prices to skyrocket in 2008 and who is causing them to spike today."  Reuters article


      Senators  Cantwell and Sanders

News 1   Supported 1   Valuable 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Arlen Grossman Social Media Pages: Facebook Page       Twitter Page       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Arlen is a writer/blogger living in Monterey, CA. His political blog is He also wrote a quotation quiz "What's Your QQ?" at the Monterey Herald for 9 years. see

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

"No War By Any Nation in Any Age Has Ever Been Declared By the People"

Is the CIA Everywhere? Maybe Your Paranoia is Justified

11 Sure-Fire Predictions About the War Against ISIS

Which America Do You Live In: Newsweek's "SuperCountry" or Reich's Stalled "Tinder-Box"?

America's Choice: Semi-Democracy or Fascism

The Fed's Unprecedented Generosity

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend