Temperatures dropped 20 degrees in Washington on Friday, a sign that fall is about here—and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., wants to know how his home state is going to pay for heat this winter.
In a Friday Washington Post op-ed, Sanders criticized the country’s “artificially high” oil prices and attacked Wall Street for hiding information about the prices.
“They don’t want the American people to know the extent to which speculators keep oil prices artificially high and the great damage that does to our economy,” he wrote.
Sanders cited a Wall Street Journal article published earlier this summer: “Wall Street is tapping a real gusher in 2011, as heightened volatility and higher prices of oil and other raw materials boost banks’ profits.” He also included testimony from ExxonMobil's chairman, Delta Air Lines's general counsel, and an American Trucking Association vice president to bolster his claim that excessive speculation is causing prices to spike.
To lower prices, Sanders called for making information on speculation public, which may discourage Wall Street trading in the oil futures market. He asked the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to fulfill its past-due mandate in the Dodd-Frank financial-reform legislation to eliminate, prevent, or diminish excessive oil speculation.
Sanders condemned claims by commodity regulators that they cannot end excessive speculation on oil because they don’t have the data to do so. “The time for studying is over. It is time for action,” he said.