June 15, 2011
End Excessive Oil Speculation Now
Statement by Robert Weissman, President, Public Citizen
Legal speculation is siphoning money from the pockets and pocketbooks of consumers.
Even Goldman Sachs suggests that legal speculation may be adding 65-70 cents to the price of a gallon of gasoline.
Speculators, in other words, are imposing a private tax on us.
This is the worst kind of tax. The proceeds of this Wall Street-imposed tax are going to Wall Street interests, giant oil companies and foreign oil interests. The Wall Street-imposed tax is regressive, with working families hit the hardest. And the unpredictability and impermanence of this Wall Street-imposed tax means that – while it imposes costs on consumers and the economy – it does not do much to shift consumer and investment decisions toward efficiency.
We, the People are not helpless in the face of this legalized rip-off. We can crack down on out-of-control legal speculation with available tools. The Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act directed the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to enact position limits to eliminate excessive speculation. But the CFTC has failed to act.
Now comes Sen. Bernie Sanders’ End Excessive Oil Speculation Now Act to mandate immediate action by the CFTC to end the Wall Street-imposed oil tax. The legislation would end Wall Street’s authority to rip off consumers. Public Citizen strongly supports the End Excessive Oil Speculation Now Act. We need it right now.
Public Citizen is a national, nonprofit consumer advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit www.citizen.org.