Congressman Barney Frank, Ranking Member of the House Financial Services Committee, today released the following statement in response to the announcement by the Obama administration that it would take further steps to restrict speculation in oil markets.
Click here to view the White House fact sheet on this issue. Congressman Frank’s statement appears below:
The package of measures the President has proposed to deal with the oil speculation that has been a significant contributor to higher oil prices is a good addition to what we did in the Wall Street Reform bill. As the President noted, the Financial Reform bill gave federal regulators, for the first time, significant ability to protect consumers against price-inflating speculation. Unfortunately, people in the industry have already begun to try to use the judiciary to block these measures, but I am confident that they will survive. Based on the experience we have had very recently with increased speculation, the administration has correctly proposed a series of additional measures, including enhanced penalties. Much of what they are proposing was not within the jurisdiction of the Financial Services Committee when we did the Financial Reform bill, but I believe they are important additions to our arsenal for protecting the economy against speculation.
Probably the single most important factor is the refusal by House Republicans to provide adequate funding for the CFTC. I hope that a public demand for an appropriate response to oil speculation will lead my Republican colleagues to reconsider their refusal to provide the level of funding to the CFTC that is appropriate for its important new duties in the fight against speculators.