A newspaper story in the Salt Lake Tribune this week supports my concern about price manipulation occurring in the oil trading markets. I read the headline "Just a Few Speculators Fueling the Volatility in the Oil Market" about the discovery by U.S. market regulators of how one financial player had gained enormous sway over the oil market--without regulators' knowledge.
Other data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) shows how active trading by a single futures trader in June coincided with the rapid rise in the per-barrel oil price.
The potential for price manipulation in the oil futures trading market is troublesome. Providing the CFTC with more oversight authority is one aspect of a comprehensive energy bill I have written in response to high gas prices. I believe my bill is the right approach as we pursue an energy policy that delivers secure, affordable, clean energy to consumers.
We must end our dependence on foreign oil. To reach that goal, we must pursue every available avenue such as more domestic production from off-shore areas; exploration of oil shale and tar sands leasing in the West; more investment in research and development of alternatives, such as plug-in hybrids; more efficiency from existing supply and more private-sector innovation to take us to the next technological level.
As someone who worked in the energy industry for 13 years before being elected to Congress, I know how vital energy is to every sector of our economy and every aspect of our lives. I am optimistic we can meet our energy independence challenge, as long as we recognize that what we do now will bridge the span between our current energy needs and new resources for the future.
2nd District of Utah