Facing political pressure to drive down near-record prices for gasoline. President Barack Obama wants to take action against energy traders and speculators, who are potentially earning record profits from the upward movement in oil prices, by “putting more cops on the beat.”
Obama wants Congress to strengthen federal supervision of oil markets and empower regulators to increase the amount of money energy traders are required to put behind their transactions. Energy analysts contend that the current system makes it far too easy for speculators to manipulate prices with little downside risk.
“Even if we drilled every square inch of this country right now, we’d still have to rely disproportionately on other countries for their oil. That means we pay more at the pump every time there’s instability in the Middle East, or growing demand in countries like China and India,” Obama said during remarks in the White House Rose Garden.