Several Senate Democrats are seeking a vote on plans that would force commodities regulators to quickly limit “excessive” speculation in oil futures markets that the lawmakers say is pushing gasoline prices upward.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and 10 Democrats want to attach the measure to legislation up for debate this week that would repeal billions of dollars’ worth of oil-industry tax breaks.
The amendment filed Monday mirrors a bill Sanders and others introduced March 21. It would give the federal Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) 14 days to use its authorities — including “emergency” powers — to limit excessive speculation in energy futures markets.
Many Democrats believe Wall Street traders are pushing prices far above what supply and demand levels justify, and say the CFTC is dragging its feet in implementing new trading limits required under the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law.
“Millions of American consumers are hurting as a result of excessive speculation on the oil futures market, and the future of our economy hangs in the balance,” Sanders said in a statement last week.