Friday, June 27, 2008

A note from Mr. Cleaver

I got an email from my Congressman today.  I like to know what's going on.  He seems as annoyed as I am. 


Wrestling Gas Prices

We all continue to struggle at the gas pump, and barrels of oil hit another all-time high today. Sadly yesterday the House failed to pass ‘Use It or Lose It' legislation for oil companies. The bill would have compelled the oil industry to start drilling or lose permits on the 68 million acres of undeveloped federal oil reserves which they are currently warehousing, thereby keeping domestic supply lower and prices higher. Complaints that more drilling permits are needed for yet more land ring hollow when compared to the thousands of currently unused drilling permits already issued. I think this will be back on the floor again soon and I am disappointed it didn't pass this week.

To provide even more incentive to reduce demand, the House also voted on legislation to lower fares for mass transit and expanded services for commuters.

We also passed legislation urging an investigation in a complicated but no less culpable reason for the high price of gas. The House called upon the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to investigate the role of oil speculators and the system that encourages artificially high future gas prices. The American people should not be punished at the pump for the actions of oil speculators, and the House called on the CFTC Act.  

Experts testified this week before Congress that the explosion of speculation in the oil futures market could be driving up prices from $20 to $60 per barrel.  At current prices that is an increase of 15-50 percent solely due to speculation.

In an underreported story, oil speculators are making money by betting against the American consumers at the pump. Reducing the price of gas, a global commodity, is hard enough without our own markets driving the price through the roof.

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