Statement on President Obama’s Comments Regarding Speculation

Commissioner Bart Chilton

April 19, 2011

“President Obama is correct that speculators are impacting fuel prices.

There is a Wall Street premium on gas prices today. Every time folks fill up their tanks, they can expect that several dollars are due to speculation.

Speculative dollars are coming into energy markets at a blistering pace. Speculative positions in energy contracts have increased 64 percent since we last saw such high prices in 2008.

Don’t get me wrong, we need speculators. There is no market without them, but as we have seen, too much speculation can move prices.

The President fought to give us authority to impose limits on speculators, but we have yet to use that authority. We need to use the tools that Congress gave us to stop excessive speculation, and we need to do it now.”

Last Updated: April 19, 2011