CFTC Report Reveals Rampant Speculation in Oil Markets

For Immediate Release

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Michael Briggs (202) 228-6492

CFTC Report Reveals Rampant Speculation in Oil Markets

WASHINGTON - Sen. Bernie Sanders offered the following statement after having reviewed a list of speculative oil traders responsible for the 2008 spike in oil prices.  This list was compiled by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

"This report clearly shows that in the summer of 2008 when gas prices spiked to more than $4 a gallon, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and other speculators on Wall Street dominated the crude oil futures market causing tremendous damage to the entire economy," Sanders said.  "The CFTC has kept this information hidden from the American public for nearly three years.  That is an outrage.

The American people have a right to know exactly who caused gas prices to skyrocket in 2008 and who is causing them to spike today.  The CFTC claims they need more data to impose speculative position limits as required by Dodd-Frank.  That is laughable.  The American people need action to bring down gas and oil prices and they need it now, which is why I have introduced legislation with eight co-sponsors to do just that." 

On June 15, 2011 Sen. Sanders introduced a bill titled the "End Excessive Oil Speculation Now Act of 2011", which would force the Chairman of the CFTC to impose strict limits on the amount of oil speculators can trade in the commodity and futures markets.

Excessive oil speculation is widely considered to have been a major contributor to high gas prices at the pump and unnecessary volatility in the oil commodities and futures markets.  Sen. Sanders' bill currently has eight co-sponsors: Sens. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), and Jay Rockefeller (D-WV).

"We have a responsibility to do everything we can to lower gas prices so that they reflect the fundamentals of supply and demand and bring needed relief to the American people," Sanders said.

S.1200 End Excessive Oil Speculation Now Act of 2011

CTFC Response Exhibit 7/8

CFTC provided spreadsheet

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United States Senator for Vermont

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