Levin commends president for new steps to combat oil speculation

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

WASHINGTON – Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., chairman of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, commended President Obama today for his announcement of new steps to combat manipulation in the markets for oil and gas. Levin’s subcommittee has probed the damage that excessive speculation does to American families and businesses. Last week, Levin and 18 other senators filed an amicus brief defending position limits included in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform act designed to prevent excessive speculation in oil and gas markets.

Levin’s statement follows:

"The president is right to ramp up efforts to combat excessive speculation in oil and gas, which adds at least 50 cents to the cost of every gallon of gasoline. Giving regulators more powerful tools to go after excessive speculation, including by allowing regulators to set margin limits, would be a major advance. For years, regulators have been starved of staff and computers needed to track speculators and uncover excessive speculation and market manipulation distorting prices.  But that is part of the problem.  In addition to the steps the White House outlined today, it is vitally important that the regulators follow the direction Congress gave in the Dodd-Frank Act and establish effective position limits that protect consumers and business from the continuing damage caused by excessive speculation."