Monday, June 23, 2008
The Washington Post reports on a four-pronged approach by presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Senator Barack Obama to tame speculation in oil markets with the intention of bringing energy prices back down to earth.
Understandably, closing the "Enron loophole" is the main element in the plan.
Has there ever been a more perfect target for legislative action than this?
All you have to do is recall high electricity prices back around 2001 and 2002 combined with images of the Ken Lay and Jeffrey Skilling perp-walks and the word "loophole" (loosely translated as "more money for the fat cats") and you just know that this thing, whatever it is, has got to be stopped.
Here's the rest of the plan:
The three other components of the plan, as described by Obama economic adviser Jason Furman, are to ensure that U.S. energy futures cannot be traded in offshore, unregulated markets; to work toward international regulation of oil futures markets, in cooperation with like-minded countries; and to have both the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department investigate the oil markets.The Obama team must have seen the Bill O'Reilly segment from last week about speculation in the energy futures market.
Fortunately for oil traders, the Obama plan contains no mention of forcing speculators to take delivery of crude oil as proposed by Rep. John Larson of Connecticut.
Neighborhoods in the New York area breathed a sigh of relief that backyards would not be piled high with barrel upon barrel of the black goo.