President Obama to unveil proposal to rein in manipulation of oil markets
April 17th, 2012
10:37 AM ET

President Obama to unveil proposal to rein in manipulation of oil markets

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Under pressure to bring down the high price of gas, today President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder will outline a proposal to increase federal supervision of the oil markets in an effort to clip the wings of speculators who are profiting off the volatility of the oil market.

The Presidents $52 million plan would let regulators force energy traders to put more of their own money into trades and also boost the penalties on manipulators who are found to be speculating unlawfully, according to a senior administration source who would not comment on the record in advance of the president's remarks.

The President will call on Congress to:

– Boost spending on technology to improve better oversight and surveillance of energy markets.

– Increase by six times the money spent on surveillance and enforcement staff of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to better deter oil market manipulation.

– Increase from $1 million to $10 million civil and criminal penalties against firms that engage in market manipulation.

– In an effort designed to limit energy market disruptions, give the Commodity Futures Trading Commission authority to increase the amount of money that a trader must put up to back a trading position.

The Obama administration plans to increase access to the commission's data so the White House Council of Economic Advisers can examine and analyze trading information, which the administration can do on its own.

This effort is likely to be seen as a political move designed to draw contrasts with the Republican party and especially presumptive nominee Mitt Romney on energy issues. House Republicans are unlikely to pass a measure that seeks to impose more limits on Wall Street at a time when they are seeking to limit regulations on the finance industry. At the same time Republican leaders are calling on the White House to open up more domestic land for oil and gas exploration.

The White House is pinpointing Wall Street for the high price of gas which could afford the President an opening to criticize Romney and his ties to the world of high finance.


soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. acdcguy

    Typical Obama, place the blame elsewhere.........

    April 17, 2012 at 11:43 am |
    • Howard

      As Obama"s old side kick used to say ... "Never let a good crisis go to waste"... so, now Obama is using the oil crises, he caused, to justify another power grab !!! America is dying right before our eyes. If we want to save her, the first thing we must do, is DUMP OBAMA !!!

      April 17, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
      • MTATL67

        LOL that is just what Mitt Romney and his wife Ann said about comments made by someone who has nothing to do with the President...Ann called it one of her best Birthday presents.

        April 17, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
      • Dan5404

        It is not going to happen. you are outnumbered and wrong-headed on politics.

        April 17, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • MTATL67

      Seriously....GOP from Sen. McConnell to their PR firm FOX blame the President for nearly everything..I'm surprised they don't blame him for their bad breath.

      April 17, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
      • jerrylax

        oh really...like you all blamed President Bush eh...and still do.

        April 17, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • Dan5404

      Yes, where it belongs. In the basket with the GOP obstructionists who will sacrifice the environment and safety if they can add to the oil company coffers. They will add to their record 500-plus filibusters that have hindered true progress in energy and the economy.

      April 17, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
      • Steveo

        Would that "true progress" include Solyndra? Can't blame the GOP for that one!

        April 17, 2012 at 8:46 pm |
  2. george of the jungle

    acdc is that how you roll? Lets see the repos shoot this down they are the onees making a big stink. Kind of like the Buffet rule. Obama 2012

    April 17, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • Howard

      OBAMA'S CREATES THE PROBLEMS ... THEN COMES UP WITH SOLUTIONS WHICH MAKE THE PROBLEMS WORSE. IT'S TIME TO KICK THIS FOOL OUT OF THE WHITE HOUSE.

      April 17, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
      • Steveo

        Howard, as you know, no president controls gas prices. They are determined on the global market! "increase federal supervision" These words gets my attention and not in a good way! I want to know what the intention is.

        April 17, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
      • MTATL67

        The President nor does Congress control the price of gas....YOU do.

        April 17, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
      • DEcember 2012

        THE ONLY WAY TO SOLVE ENERGY CRISIS IS TO USE OUR ABUNDANT NATURAL "RESOURCES". WE WILL START BY HARVESTING UNLIMITED HOT AIR COMING OUT OF THE GOP.

        April 17, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
  3. rightytighty

    More government control...., , thats the only answer, when you ignore the historical economic standard model of supply and demand like these clowns

    April 17, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
  4. RealityKing

    5 yrs ago dems argued that there was no need to start pumping oil of the north shore because it would be 5 yrs before we would see it in the market. Now 5 yrs later, and Obama can only come up with regulations as an answer to our national woes. Which are obviously not being caused by speculators. But hey, some people will believe anything, no matter how many times they're lied to..

    April 17, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
  5. rightytighty

    Looks like another bigger winner from the Obama team!(eyes rolling).
    Commodities
    Oil $104.60 +1.67 +1.62%

    April 17, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
  6. Dean

    Obama is also a speculator. He speculates in the 'green' energy industry using taxpayer dollars (not his...nor any of the company's money). How has that worked out? Like Obama's presidency, a complete failure.

    April 17, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
  7. joe

    Where is his Federal Trade Commission?
    What about the SEC?"
    Why does Obama need a new agency when he could just put his current administration to work on these so called speculator driven oil prices? Which by the way , he has yet to provide any proof of.

    Sound like just another political gimmick for the dumbed down masses.

    April 17, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
  8. Bill Ayers

    Growing government is always the best thing. We will not stop until every facet of a citizen's life is controlled by a central planner, it's the best way for everybody. Once you've realized it's happened it will be too late..........Muhuhahahahahaha

    April 17, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • Steveo

      Are you a prophet for profit?

      April 17, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
  9. jsmoulder

    Funny, now he is saying he is going to do something he said he was going to do 4 years ago during his campaign. Why has he waited so long. Never mid it is campaign season again just more lies.

    April 17, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • MTATL67

      OH yes the President did it all by himself without any help from a do nothing Congress and obstructionist Republican party.

      April 17, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
      • Steveo

        Exactly what proposals concerning gas prices went from the White House to the Congress? Since you're blaming the GOP, give us the list of WH proposals, please.

        April 17, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
  10. RonPaulSupporter139235

    Drill into Alaska.

    April 17, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
  11. jerrylax

    Another obama smoke and mirrors...we have record low natural gas prices at the moment and this comes while the markets function naturally...a lot of supply and less demand. The problem now with oil is the middle east...IT IS A MITIGAGED DISASTER! obama had a chance to stabilize that region and since he took office the middle east has caught fire...no one knows what to expect politically. We are still in a halfassed war over there which is not being reported in the mdeia..and we are losing a troop or two every week. Bottom line is the way obama operates is he creates a mess then diverts attention to others(blame)...virtually everything he has touched is a mess...even health care! We got what we paid for in obama...now we are living with it for a few more months.

    April 17, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
  12. DEcember 2012

    HEY JERRY, LOOK AT THE BRIGHT SIDE. AT LEAST THE WAR CRIMINAL DICK CHENEY IS STILL WASTING AIR.

    April 17, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • jerry

      say what you wish about Dick Cheney...at least he made sense when he talked...was not a bumbling fool like biden. The Bush administration had to clean up after clinton's fumble on the first world trade center bombing... now we are going to have to get another republican to fix this mess we have, domestically and overseas... here we go again.

      April 17, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
      • DEcember 2012

        WHY WOULD ANYONE LISTEN TO THE WORDS OF A WAR CRIMINAL AND A FAILURE LIKE DICK CHENEY?

        April 17, 2012 at 11:16 pm |
    • Howard

      What about the TRAITOR barack obama, and his corrupt gang of fellow traitors ???

      April 18, 2012 at 12:20 am |
  13. macpoet

    you're right jerry we got what we paid for unfortunately. I just really hope the american people wake up and see what OBAMA really means. Here it is: One Big Ass Mistake America. Afterall he promised lots in the beginning but never delivered and now is trying too make up for it. for example bringing the troops home. Which i think he should of done from the minute he entered office. Once again people. Don't vote for this fool. He's toxic too america.

    Remember : One Big Ass Mistake America = OBAMA

    Vote for someone else.

    April 17, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
  14. Jules

    So what does Willard have to say about the manipulation of oil prices? I bet he opposes doing anything about it. Anyone want to bet $10,000 on that? Willard, Willard, anybody?

    April 17, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
    • Steveo

      Sorry but "willard" is a private citizen at the moment and not the president!

      April 17, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
      • Miran

        / I purchased the HP Mini 110-1125NR 10.1 noobetk several weeks ago, and felt compelled to share with anyone interested on what a great little machine this is! After charging the battery, I started right in using it to surf the web and do e-mails. The battery really does seem to last for 8 9 hours between charges. I read reviews on several brands of noobetks and kept coming back to this one. It's a great buy,has a sufficiently large keyboard, and convenient to use.

        August 1, 2012 at 11:46 pm |
  15. B

    Yeah, everyone wants to go back to the good Ol Bush days of trickle-down and losing 750,000 – thats seven hundred and fifty thousand jobs a month.....

    Putting us all into Two Unfunded Wars, destroying the Housing markets and instigating a World Recession that about destroyed this country!

    Romney and the Republicans would be – Bush Round Two.. and everyone could move to Canada where they keep their heads.

    April 17, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • jerry

      your are correct they were the good old days...and then the economy stumbled while President Bush retired and the idiot took over and drove us into the ground....we will see the good old days after November when obama goes to the curb and joins carter as former idiot-in-chief.

      April 17, 2012 at 9:22 pm |
    • Howard

      If Obama gets a second term, the Bush years will seem like memories of heaven, compared to the failure and destruction we would experience from obama.

      April 18, 2012 at 12:23 am |
  16. Sponge-Bob

    Obama wanted higher gas prices, he said so when he got elected and now that they are higher he doesn't like it? This "plan" is purely political and has no real chance of being passed, even Obama knows that. The real manipulation going on is with Obama and the voters. Only the kool-aid drinking, hammer and sickle, hardcore lefties will buy this idea.

    April 17, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
  17. Bob

    So Obama is going to control the speculator's bid when the prices are going up AS WELL as control the speculators when the prices are being bid down. I want to give Obama the benefit of the doubt and state that he is clueless as to how this is going to turn out for consumers, but I can't. Consumers are going to pay in the end no matter what.

    April 17, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
  18. jimcolyer

    Get rid of Obama. Get rid of Biden. Get rid of Clinton. Get rid of Holder. Get rid of Pelosi.

    April 17, 2012 at 8:43 pm |
  19. JOE

    OH no, what this bo up to now?

    April 17, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
  20. Cody

    Roll with me on this people. Everyone is always trying to do that whole boycott gasoline on certain dates right? Did anyone ever thing that the oil industry could actually shut down our economy? If they decided to not sell gas for one week the USA would probably be in chaos. They have the money afford doing that from what everyone says. Just a thought.........

    April 18, 2012 at 12:05 am |
  21. Cody

    Sorry for the bad typing. Long day at work.....

    April 18, 2012 at 12:05 am |
  22. jaxideas

    Not all that long ago, American individuals and companies which took staggering risks, surmounted incredible technical and engineering challenges with pure innovation, ingenuity, and tenacious refusal to accept failure were admired, respected, and were definitive of the true Spirit of America. That these citizens and companies, who provided the energy to light and power the entire world, are now vilified, harassed, and branded as scapegoats to give an administration a foil with which to focus negative public sentiment upon, spells the end of America's most enlightened and heroic era. The American oil and gas industry, more than any other, epitomized the now lost American Spirit for over a century. Americans, bid adieu to your bold, unique and glorious industrious past. Your heritage has been usurped, in the name of creeping socialism, and the gullibility of the many, molded and amplified into false public opinion by those corrupted by their lust for power, is now trampling the real American Spirit, to death.

    April 18, 2012 at 7:56 am |
  23. jaxideas

    Not all that long ago, American individuals and companies which took staggering risks, surmounted incredible technical and engineering challenges with pure innovation, ingenuity, and tenacious refusal to accept failure were admired, respected, and were definitive of the true Spirit of America. That these citizens and companies, who provided the energy to light and power the entire world, are now vilified, harassed, and branded as scapegoats to give an administration a lightning rod upon which to focus negative public sentiment, spells the premeditated end of America's most enlightened and heroic era. The American oil and gas industry, more than any other, epitomized the now lost American Spirit for well over a century. Americans, bid adieu to your bold, unique and glorious industrious past and its vast intellectual investment. Your heritage has been usurped, in the name of creeping socialism, and the gullibility of the many, molded and amplified into false public opinion by an administration corrupted by its lust for power, is now trampling the real American Spirit, to death.

    April 18, 2012 at 10:03 am |