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Begich Statement on Oil Speculation Crackdown

U.S. Sen. Mark Begich issued the following statement today in reaction to a proposal by the White House designed to crack down on oil speculators, whose actions artificially inflate the prices for oil products such as gasoline for American consumers:

“I’m pleased the Obama administration is finally proposing tough new actions to rein in oil speculators, whose actions have slowed our economic recovery. It’s easy to blame ‘big oil’ for high oil prices, but in fact it’s the largely unregulated speculators who drive up prices, forcing many drivers in Alaska and across the country to pay more than $4 a gallon for gas. The cost of speculation is estimated at 56 cents for every gallon of gas.

“I’ve been working to tighten the noose on speculators since my campaign for the Senate. That’s why I’ve joined many of my colleagues in urging tougher action by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission and just last week joined 18 other senators in an amicus brief in federal court demanding action to combat excessive speculation. 

“Some industries such as airlines and refineries need to buy bulk fuel in large quantities, so any new regulations should permit these responsible market-driven practices.

“Alaskans are tired of paying the highest gasoline prices in the nation, in part because of the actions of mysterious oil speculators. It’s high time the administration put some teeth behind their promises to address this problem.”

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