Yesterday, while speaking at a college in Virginia, President Obama laid the blame of high oil prices at the feet of speculators:
Obama said that global oil supply is adequate and that speculators are driving up prices significantly.
“It is true that a lot of what’s driving oil prices up right now is not the lack of supply. There’s enough supply. There’s enough oil out there for world demand,” Obama said.
“The problem is … speculators and people make various bets, and they say, you know what, we think that maybe there’s a 20 percent chance that something might happen in the Middle East that might disrupt oil supply, so we’re going to bet that oil is going to go up real high. And that spikes up prices significantly.”
Obama’s comments echoed those of members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, which insists that markets are well supplied and that speculation drove oil to $127 a barrel for Brent crude and $113 a barrel for U.S. crude earlier this month.
Saudi Arabia said earlier this week that markets were actually oversupplied, forcing it to cut production by 800,000 barrels per day in March to counter slowing demand — a strong signal the cartel would not act to quell soaring prices.
This isn’t the first time we have heard of this problem either. Back in 2008, when prices were around the same, the oil speculation game was all the talk, and it’s true. There is plenty of supply out there right now, despite the attempts to blame the unrest in Libya for the problems. The speculators are driving up the prices to drive up the money they make, and that needs to stop.
Why hasn’t Congress taken action to stop these financial games that benefit the few while destroying everyone else? It’s the same thing we saw in the housing crisis, yet our leaders won’t act. I don’t blame Democrats or Republicans when it comes to this – I blame politics in general. We need our lawmakers to enact legislation that will put an end to all these games and return us to financial stability. The world is still on the brink of financial disaster and a failure to act by our leaders, as well as other world leaders, can easily push us over the edge.
So instead of blaming the speculators Mr. President, why don’t you start using your power to push for legislation to put an end to these games? It’s time to lead and help save the entire world from economic disaster.