Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Congress Trying to Crack Down on Oil Speculators

To those of you that think that the Democrats being in charge of the Congress is no different than the Republiturds, I offer this story:

The Senate voted Tuesday to move ahead with a Democratic plan to curb
speculation in oil markets that has been blamed for some of the recent run-up in
oil prices. The 94-0 vote clears a procedural hurdle for the legislation,
which would require the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, or CFTC, to set limits on trading in oil markets by investors and speculators.
Despite the big tally, however, the rival parties are bitterly divided on how to address high gasoline prices and an underlying stalemate remains in place.

The rapid increases in oil prices have coincided with big rises in trading on oil future markets and investment in oil by pension and hedge funds. Democrats say much of the recent increases in oil prices are due to speculation and investment by people who have no intention of taking possession of the commodities.

"The demand for 'paper barrels' ... has begun to swamp the price signals that are generated by the more traditional hedgers and the large producers and the consumers of petroleum products in tune to the real time dynamics of supply and demand," said Energy Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M.

Republicans said the bill would have little if any effect and said Congress should instead lift a ban on offshore drilling along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts and the eastern Gulf of Mexico.

The actualization of this proposal would be huge. Much of the reason behind the rapid increase in oil is due to speculators (or investors, if you will). If the Dollar was strong, or we were not in debt and threatening to destroy Iran, investors (or speculators, if you will) might find it more advantageous to put their money somewhere (like stocks) besides resource invenstents like oil and gold, which has also seen a meteoric rise in recent years.

Now I ask, what would the Senate be debating today if the Republitards were in charge? The answer of course is drilling, and lots of it. I heard Al Gore refer to this policy as a "hair of the dog" approach, i.e., drinking your way out of a hangover, and right. A policy of domestic drilling might help, albeit 7-10 years from now, with our dependence on foreign oil. However, that does not address the fundamental problem of being hooked on oil, regardless of it nation of origin. That is the root, and that is why it is so fundamentally important for us to aim our efforts and cash into renewable energy.

The Democratic Party is far from perfect, and in some ways their horrors outweigh their virtues. Yet they are so clearly better than the other choice. One could argue that that in of itself is another fundamental problem, i.e., the duopolistic two party model. There is truth to that, but I am not sure how we could govern if we had to form temporary coalitions with more and more fragmented smaller parties. How would our legislative bodies caucus if we did away with parties all together?

I don't know, but I do think we have to work to get as many Dems in the Congress as possible, and of course, we need the White House too.

But damn, this has gotten serious, here is something silly to chew on:

1 comment:

Randal Graves said...

A post like this makes me want to try drinking myself out of a hangover because you're right, the Dems ARE better than the wingnuts, but the Dems suck so much King Size Homer ass that it's depressing.