Learn more about our policy experts.

Media Contacts

Angela Bradbery, Director of Communications
w. (202) 588-7741
c. (202) 503-6768
abradbery@citizen.org, Twitter

Don Owens, Deputy Director of Communications
w. (202) 588-7767

David Rosen, Press Officer, Regulatory Affairs
w. (202) 588-7742

Luis Castilla, Press Officer, Public Citizen’s Texas office
w. (512) 637-9467

Other Important Links

Press Release Database
Citizen Vox blog
Texas Vox blog
Consumer Law and Policy blog
Energy Vox blog
Eyes on Trade blog

Follow us on Twitter


Sept. 28, 2012

 Score One for Wall Street: Court Strikes Down Dodd-Frank Rule on Oil Speculation Limits

Statement of Robert Weissman, President, Public Citizen

Excessive speculation on oil and other commodity markets is driving up prices for consumers. Goldman Sachs has suggested that speculation increases the price of a gallon of gas by 65 to 70 cents. Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson has said that speculation has maintained oil prices a third above what they would otherwise be.

The landmark Dodd-Frank legislation aimed to address this problem by directing the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to issue an order establishing “position limits” – caps on the portion of a commodities market any individual trading entity could maintain.

The rule that was promulgated after much delay by the CFTC was far too weak, but it was nonetheless an important measure to begin to rein in Wall Street speculation.

Unfortunately, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia this afternoon struck down the rule, which was challenged by the International Swaps and Derivatives Association. The court held that Dodd-Frank did not, as the CFTC had concluded, establish an unambiguous requirement that the agency set position limits, notwithstanding briefs filed by many of the key drafters of the legislation explaining that the intent of the law was to require the CFTC to issue position limits.

The winners and losers from this ruling are clear: Wall Street wins, consumers lose.

We hope that the CFTC will appeal this decision and prevail. If not, the agency should immediately work at re-crafting a new and even stronger rule. If Goldman Sachs and Exxon can agree that speculation is driving up oil prices, it’s surely necessary for the agency to take strong measures to protect consumers and Main Street.

For more information about Public Citizen's work to rein in oil speculation, click here.


Copyright © 2017 Public Citizen. Some rights reserved. Non-commercial use of text and images in which Public Citizen holds the copyright is permitted, with attribution, under the terms and conditions of a Creative Commons License. This Web site is shared by Public Citizen Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation. Learn More about the distinction between these two components of Public Citizen.

Public Citizen, Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation


You can support the fight for greater government and corporate accountability through a donation to either Public Citizen, Inc., or Public Citizen Foundation, Inc.

Public Citizen lobbies Congress and federal agencies to advance Public Citizen’s mission of advancing government and corporate accountability. When you make a contribution to Public Citizen, you become a member of Public Citizen, showing your support and entitling you to benefits such as Public Citizen News. Contributions to Public Citizen are not tax-deductible.

Public Citizen Foundation focuses on research, public education, and litigation in support of our mission. By law, the Foundation can engage in only very limited lobbying. Contributions to Public Citizen Foundation are tax-deductible.