The media and the pundits have focused on one small part of Sen. Clinton’s plan to reign in the outrageous cost of gasoline. Her proposal for a gas tax holiday over the summer has been met with derision as pandering. The media should perhaps do their homework as Sen. Clinton has and report the full proposal to the voters.
Sen. Clinton’s full proposal addresses the CAUSES of the ridiculous cost of gas at the pump. Here is the link to the press release http://www.hillaryclinton.com/news/release/view/?id=7375
The following is a quote from the Clinton campaign press release yesterday.
“Take Immediate Action to Crack Down on Speculation and Market Manipulation in Oil and Gasoline Markets – Oil and gasoline markets contain loopholes for traders, and the markets are inadequately policed by regulators under current law. As a result, there is considerable concern that current market prices reflect the influence of speculators and other forces beyond supply and demand. In early April, an Exxon Mobil executive testified under oath before a House committee that the price of oil should be $50 to $55 per barrel based on supply and demand fundamentals. Marathon Oil’s CEO stated last October that: “$100 oil isn’t justified by the physical demand in the market…it has to be speculation on the futures market that is fueling this.” Hillary would take action to reduce the influence of speculators, crack down on market manipulation in oil markets, and outlaw price gouging by:
Closing the Enron Loophole – Hillary supports closing the “Enron loophole,” which exempts electronic trading of energy commodities by large traders from U.S. government regulation. The loophole has helped lead to the dramatic growth of trading on unregulated electronic energy exchanges, and has made the U.S. energy markets vulnerable to price manipulation and excessive speculation. Even Alan Greenspan has cited “investors and speculators who took on larger net long positions in crude oil futures” as one cause of oil prices. In June 2006, the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations issued: “The Role of Market Speculation in Rising Oil and Gas Prices: A Need to Put the Cop Back on the Beat.” This report analyzed the degree to which financial speculation in energy markets had contributed to the dramatic increase in energy prices in recent years. The report concluded that “[s]peculation has contributed to rising U.S. energy prices,” and endorsed the estimate of various analysts that the influx of speculative investments into crude oil futures accounted for approximately $20 of the then-prevailing crude oil price of approximately $70 per barrel.
Protect the consumer market from price gouging for petroleum products – Hillary will make it unlawful for any supplier – wholesaler or retailer – to sell crude oil or gasoline at an unconscionably excessive price. Price gougers would face new fines and criminal penalties of up to $1 million and five years in prison and civil penalties could be assessed from $500,000 up to $5 million. Today, there are no federal laws prohibiting price gouging in the oil and gas industry, leaving some states to prohibit these actions. In 2006, the Federal Trade Commission conducted a study of post-Katrina gas price, and while it did not find widespread gouging, it did find 15 examples of pricing at the refining, wholesale, or retail level that fit a definition of price gouging under legislation that Senator Clinton has backed and is proposing to enact now.
Call on the Federal Trade Commission to Take Action Against Market Manipulation in Wholesale Oil Prices – The energy bill passed last year included new provisions to provide greater transparency and prevent manipulation in wholesale oil markets, and to empower the Federal Trade Commission to investigate and pursue violations. Unfortunately, the Bush Administration has chosen not to use this new authority. To ensure that oil companies and traders are not ripping off consumers, Hillary is calling on the FTC to begin investigations using these new powers. In addition, Hillary is calling on the FTC to propose regulations under the new law within 60 days to prevent market manipulation in oil markets. Recent cases show that market manipulation is a concern in oil markets. In 2007, Marathon Oil paid a $1 million fine to the Commodities Futures Trading Commission to settle charges that a subsidiary had tried to manipulate crude oil prices in 2003. Action by the FTC to investigate the current oil market and to develop and enforce new prohibitions on market manipulation would help to minimize foul play in oil and gasoline markets.”
The media has elected to pinpoint one small part of Sen. Clinton’s plan and call it pandering. Hillary’s plans for energy independence are an integral part of her plan to turn our economy around. She understands the implications of our energy policy on our national security, our economy, the job market AND the impact on our personal budgets. Sen. Clinton’s proposals show an in depth understanding of the multitude of forces driving the rising cost of gasoline and offer REAL SOLUTIONS to an issue that has wide ranging implications for our pocketbooks and our National Security.
Sen. Clinton earned my vote with her well thought out proposals on a wide range of issues. Her position and proposals on energy independence offer some immediate relief from the current suffering caused by ridiculous gas prices (with a way to pay for it) and long term strategic plans and goals strengthening our economy, adding jobs, increasing efficiency, rewarding green initiatives and reducing our dependence on foreign oil.
View Hillary’s energy policies at