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Senator Bernie Sanders
Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt) accused speculators of using the chaos in Iraq "as a phony excuse to artificially drive up crude oil and gasoline prices." Sanders was responding to news that the price of oil rose above $115 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, yesterday, a nine month high, despite the fact that Sanders says oil supplies are higher, and demand is lower than five years ago when prices were lower.

For example, Sanders says the price of regular gasoline was $3.67 yesterday (www.gasbuddy.com) while it was only $2.67 five years ago.

Senator Sanders published an article on his Senate website entitled, Speculators Use Iraq to Drive Up Oil and Gas Prices.  

“I am getting tired of big oil companies telling us that gasoline prices are going up because of the turmoil in Iraq.  The truth is that big oil will never miss an opportunity to increase the price of gas.  Today, it’s Iraq.  Tomorrow, it may be the weather.  On and on it goes,” said Sanders, a member of the Senate energy committee. “The fact is that high gasoline prices have less to do with supply and demand and more to do with Wall Street speculators driving prices up in the energy futures market.”

Sanders said he will introduce legislation to force the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the federal agency that regulates oil markets, to use its emergency authority to eliminate excessive oil speculation.  Sanders’ proposal is virtually identical to bipartisan legislation that overwhelmingly passed the House in 2008 by a vote of 402-19.

“Millions of Americans are hurting as a result of excessive speculation on the oil futures market,” Sanders said. “The time to provide the American people relief at the gas pump is now before this situation gets even worse.”

If I remember correctly, in 2008 after the House passed that bill, oil prices immediately came down, presumably in an effort by oil companies and speculators to prevent the Senate from moving the bill forward. If we can get the Republicans to join us again this time we should do it.

Originally posted to HoundDog on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 04:23 PM PDT.

Also republished by Gulf Watchers Group.

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Comment Preferences

  •  what? price gouging? can't we just trust Big Oil (23+ / 0-)

    operating in the best interests of a free market that will naturally follow the laws of supply and demand

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "If we appear to seek the unattainable, then let it be known that we do so to avoid the unimaginable." (@eState4Column5)

    by annieli on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 04:38:47 PM PDT

  •  Also, he may have a seriously good campaign (9+ / 0-)

    issue, right there, too. It would be interesting to see which gop House members voted for the 2008 legislation.

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 04:40:31 PM PDT

  •  Dodd-Frank (5+ / 0-)

    This should have been dealt with when they did Dodd-Frank. Protecting the profit streams of the Goldman Sachs of the world took precedence though.

    Kicking the speculators out of oil markets (and only allowing those people to trade who take physical delivery and use the crap) would actually be a net positive for climate change.

    A lower price of oil makes many of the unconventional sources like tar sands not financially viable.

    The only reason many of these unconventional sources are viable is because the price is so damn high.

    Making commodities speculation more difficult and expensive would weed out the hot money crowd and bring down the price.

    That would give a major boost to the economy as well as slow the rate at which tar sands and other unconventional sources are exploited.

    Every attempt to do something substantive with teeth that would actually make a difference (not just a good PR bill that has big loopholes) has met bi-partisan resistance because the financial services own the place and won't stand for it.

    Dodd-Frank was the time to do it. Fresh off the heals of the run up to $148 a barrel it was more politically viable than it is today where it would never go anywhere because of the Tea Party controlled house.

    It's just another in a long line of squandered opportunities that could really be making a difference in today's economy had they been more bold post crisis.

  •  This is a global commodity market (10+ / 0-)

    Speculators speculate.

    Unrest in an oil producing nation causes speculation.

    The real disgrace is that Americans are forced to pay global spot prices for the gas pumped out of their own soil. So it affects Americans -- because their oil is owned by for-profit corporations.

    Citizens of other oil-producing nations own their natural resources -- so they get to decide how much their domestic oil costs the citizens. Global oil commodity prices do not affect them.

  •  God bless 'em, let them raise it (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HoundDog, Pluto, eltee

    as high as they can.  Make it a million dollars a gallon.

    •  You want to accelerate the transition to (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dumbo, elwior

      renewables?

      Humor Alert! No statement from this UID is intended to be true, including this one. Intended for recreational purposes only. Unauthorized interpretations may lead to unexpected results. This waiver void where prohibited. Artistic License - 420420

      by HoundDog on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 04:54:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  YES (3+ / 0-)

        And more. Picture a world where people can no longer afford to flee the suburbs. Where whites start loudly demanding public  transportation. Where Wal Mart supercenters become ghost towns because no one can afford the gas to get to them. Picture a world where the middle east is no longer a concern. And people in this country are forced by economics to build diverse, sustainable communities. Gas has become our country's dark heart...with the Koch brothers playing the evil twins. When people start spending less time behind the wheel and experience less daily stress related to traffic, gas prices, and war...they will grow much more satisfied and peaceful with their lives and professions. Their opinions will be less susceptible to hate mongering.

  •  I hate to buck the trend here, but... (5+ / 0-)

    Bernie is probably right that the OilCos and commodity traders are gouging (it is what they do) but in the long run, we as a nation and as a planet would be better off if oil becomes prohibitively expensive. Nothing will drive us into alternative energy sources like making them the economically smart option.
    The sooner we can wean ourselves from MiddleEastern oil, the better off we'll be.
    And I know that this will be tough on our economy, particularly the lower 75% of us, but it's coming, one way or another, sooner or later, we need to move on this ASAP.

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 04:59:47 PM PDT

    •  Interesting point. I'd feel better about this as a (5+ / 0-)

      strategy if we had better safety net for our poorest.

      When the sad reality involves many elderly, sick, poor, young, etc, going without heat in cold winters, not having enough food, being unable to drive to places to get better jobs, or escape impoverished areas, I feel sad about it.

      Renewable energy should be a big improvement in our Quality of life.

      I'm working on some articles on the longer term cost trend on solar PV panels being driven by the Chinese learning curve strategy to drive down the cost by 20% for every doubling of the installed base, and it looks like they may be headed towards a big breakthrough in 2016 to 2017 where solar bypasses tradiitional generation costs and then keeps on going down from there.

      So we may soon see better times.

      Humor Alert! No statement from this UID is intended to be true, including this one. Intended for recreational purposes only. Unauthorized interpretations may lead to unexpected results. This waiver void where prohibited. Artistic License - 420420

      by HoundDog on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 05:11:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes. cushion would be nice. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HoundDog, unfangus

        A certain amount of planning would be good, too.
        But, realistically, politically, do you see a path to that?
        We can't get the PTB to admit that Climate Change is human caused, nevermind that we need to work out ways to curb it.
        No matter what path we go down, the poor, the working class will take the brunt of the pain. The longer we put it off, the worse it will be.

        If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

        by CwV on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 05:28:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  we don't use middle east oil (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      paulex, blueoasis

      Oh wait...our entire economy and currency is tied to petrol dollars. Until we fix that it doesn't matter if we use less gas or even where we buy it from.

    •  Population (0+ / 0-)

      It is probably impossible thermodynamically to run what we're currently running without fossil fuels.

      The only way the situation could be handled would be a gradual decline in population from 7 billion down to maybe 2 billion. You might be able to do something then. Until that happens, compromised fossil fuel supplies will cause nothing but economic pain.

      If you want to help the fossil fuel situation, have zero or one child. Of course, Jevon's Paradox ultimately means that even that won't help, but hey.

      (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
      Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

      by Sparhawk on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 04:13:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not sure what gas cost in 2000- (0+ / 0-)

      A very conservative estimate is that we are paying over $2 more a gallon. Since then we've seen an increase in hybrids and maybe a few plugins as well. But honestly it seems the people complaining the most about prices are still driving huge trucks and SUV's. The only way the auto industry is going to change is through consumer demand. I would love to see more people buy energy-efficient cars, but they would rather drive their gas hogs and blame Obama.  

  •  If the US nationalized its oil (11+ / 0-)

    …and its big banks -- not only would American's standard of living soar -- but all the US wars would end.

    •  It really is that simple. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elwior, peachcreek
    •  The US can't nationalize all the oil (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shrike, Sparhawk

      without paying for it at fair market value. The Fifth Amendment protects owners of oil held on private property or oil leases on government property from an arbitrary confiscation of their assets.

      The US could stop offering oil leases and develop oil fields itself, but even most oil producing countries have at times used private capital and expertise to develop oil resources, Mexico being the most recent example.  

      "let's talk about that" uid 92953

      by VClib on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 06:31:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The oil companies can be nationalized. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        elwior

        That's what all the other countries did.

        •  But the government would have to pay the (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          shrike, Justanothernyer, billybam

          shareholders. Big Oil is owned by individuals and institutions all over the world. The US government cannot just declare that all of those assets now belong to the government without fair compensation to the current owners. There are not more than a few dozen Democrats in the House who would even think such a plan was constitutional. In the US people who own assets have constitutional rights. This isn't a third world dictatorship where some government entity can steal your assets.

          "let's talk about that" uid 92953

          by VClib on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 08:00:43 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It would settle in court. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            elwior, blueoasis

            No big deal.

            •  Pretty clear cut application of (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              shrike

              the 'takings' clause of the Fifth Amendment; " nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation." I can't imagine any scenario where any Federal court would allow nationalization without compensation.

              "Liberty" is a living wage. "Freedom" is not worrying about your medical bills.

              by billybam on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 05:46:41 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Eminent domain. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            elwior

            The fair market value of leased Federal land after condemnation is $0. Condemned private land would have a very low monetary value as alternative use would be prohibited.

            Obi Ben Ghazi to House Republicans: "Use the Farce."

            by edg on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 09:48:55 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  edg - who do you think would believe that (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Sparhawk

              is a fair result under our Fifth Amendment? Not any SCOTUS Justice that I am aware of in the history of the United States.

              "let's talk about that" uid 92953

              by VClib on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 09:58:20 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  It is the government's inability to legalize such (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Sparhawk, Jasonhouse

              a ruse that makes the US a nation of laws.

              What you are suggesting is the type of behavior that despots pursue. Congress would never be a party to such a theft.

              "let's talk about that" uid 92953

              by VClib on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 10:03:20 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Highly unlikely, but never say never. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                elwior

                Many people said eminent domain would never be used to condemn private property for business purposes. That proved false. I'm sure you're familiar with Kelo.

                Obi Ben Ghazi to House Republicans: "Use the Farce."

                by edg on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 10:20:27 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  But even in Kelo (approved by the five liberals) (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Sparhawk, shrike

                  the property owner received the appraised value of the property, it wasn't stolen. Kelo has not only been widely criticized by liberals and conservatives alike about half the states changed their laws to make certain a "Kelo" event could never be contemplated in their state.

                  The US could nationalize Big Oil, they would just have to pay for it.

                  "let's talk about that" uid 92953

                  by VClib on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 10:39:02 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

  •  If you don't like oil prices (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Justanothernyer

    Use less of it

    (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
    Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

    by Sparhawk on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 05:32:52 PM PDT

    •  Oh, yeah (9+ / 0-)

      Everyone who commutes can just quit their jobs and hope they can find one closer to home.

      Good grief...

       

      "Inevitability" diminishes free will and replaces it with self-fulfilling prophecies."--Geenius At Wrok

      by lunachickie on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 05:53:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It was our collective choices... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Duckmg, Justanothernyer

        ...that made this mess.
        It will be our collective choices that get us out.

        Reality doesn't give a crap. Americans will make better choices, when other options are exhausted, as they increasingly are.

        A house in the suburbs is no one's birthright.

        (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
        Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

        by Sparhawk on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 06:14:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's a really, really LARGE continent we live on (6+ / 0-)
          A house in the suburbs is no one's birthright.
          No, but it's a long goddamn walk when you live 30 miles from the best job you could get.

          "Inevitability" diminishes free will and replaces it with self-fulfilling prophecies."--Geenius At Wrok

          by lunachickie on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 06:36:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  How many generations ago? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          elwior

          I guarantee you I was not around when the highway system was built, nor when cars became the staple method of transportation in many states.

          I really get tired of this Blame the Victim Bullshit, because that's what it is.

          My state has shit for public transportation and sadly it's better than it's ever been. We have no sidewalks except in the heart of the cities and in wealthy neighborhoods. We have two cities that have bike lanes for use.

          That's it.

          And urban sprawl is the SOP. I don't control that, but I have to live in it. So stop blaming ME and every other American for a system that was put in place long before we were born. And then act like we don't want to change it bad enough because we are too busy working our asses off to just make ends meet so we can afford to get to a paying job.

          "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

          by GreenMother on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 09:00:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  yes. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lunachickie, Justanothernyer, elwior

        Everyone who calls themselves a progressive should at least make that a goal. Working closer to home is good for families and good for communities and their small businesses. It's a noble and worthwhile personal goal that would change the whole world.

        •  I would love it (9+ / 0-)

          if only there were big companies that paid a living wage where I can afford to actually live.

          Sure, it's a "noble and worthwhile personal goal", but it doesn't change the fact that Senator Sanders is absolutely right when he calls this an excuse for gouging. Right now, it's obscene. Right now, Americans go where the jobs are and find places to live in that are affordable--if they're lucky.

          "Inevitability" diminishes free will and replaces it with self-fulfilling prophecies."--Geenius At Wrok

          by lunachickie on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 06:50:50 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  There is no such thing as gouging (0+ / 0-)

            For oil and gas industries, the price is set so supply==demand. Right now, oil is scarce while those who wish to buy it are not.

            America had its chance, multiple times. The oil embargo and crisis of the 1970s. Katrina. The oil price spike of 2008. Every time, people made the same arguments, and every time, as soon as prices fell afterwards and the boot heel was away from their neck they went back to the same stupid decision making that happened before the crisis, buying exburban homes in non-walkable communities, expensive gas guzzling cars etc. In recent times, there has thankfully been a slight to moderate trend away from these things, but not nearly where it needs to be.

            Today's not-really-a-crisis was easily foreseeable. The only thing that consistently gets Americans to change their fossil fuel behaviors is price. So people can protest current gas prices, but what were they doing when gas was cheaper to prepare for this day? When prices fall again, what will they do in the future? The answer is regrettably obvious.

            (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
            Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

            by Sparhawk on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 04:27:47 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Bullshit, again (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              RN that thinks, GreenMother, elwior
              There is no such thing as gouging
              If you believe that--really believe that--you're either a direct beneficiary of oil money or you're seriously deluded. And that's being kind.

              "Inevitability" diminishes free will and replaces it with self-fulfilling prophecies."--Geenius At Wrok

              by lunachickie on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 06:56:50 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I'm neither (0+ / 0-)

                I charge as high a price as I can reasonably expect for my services and I expect others to do the same, even big oil companies.

                If you don't like it, use less.

                (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                by Sparhawk on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 07:38:10 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  That's simply not a choice based on reality (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  GreenMother, elwior, Anakai

                  for millions of hard-working Americans.

                  If you don't like it, use less.
                  How very Democratic of you (chuckle).

                  "Inevitability" diminishes free will and replaces it with self-fulfilling prophecies."--Geenius At Wrok

                  by lunachickie on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 08:07:29 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Ah, the confederated libertarianist.... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    lunachickie

                    the world would be perfect if it wasn't for that damned pesky obstacle called "human nature". wouldn't it?

                    Nah, those petroleum companies are loyal patriots, all right... TO THEIR BOARDROOMS, THEIR REAL ESTATE INVESTMENTS, THEIR TROPHY WIVES AND THE POLITICIANS THEY'VE PURCHASED.

                    The only damned reason this country ISN'T on renewable energy right now this very minute is because of Ronald Wilson Reagan and the rope that the oil companies had tied around his testacles and flung him around the room like a June Bug on a string. His predecessor, James Earl Carter had a working plan to end dependence on Middle East oil by 2000 through alternative energy development the 3rd year he was in the White House and it was kicked to the curb for the usual neocon reason: "too expensive"... and then Reagan proceeded to ramrod through Congress the largest military buildup and the biggest Pentagon budget bloat since WW2 that nearly bankrupted the country.

                    When these kids who haven't lived as working adults through those times start to read some history and complete their education, perhaps they'll eventually learn that libertarians are nothing more than neocons that can't be bothered with laws or governments, and that everything is caveat emptor. I'm willing to bet that no educated, sane person would want that kind of life; Somalia, Texas and Florida are already beginning to resemble each other too much as it is.

        •  Everyone who calls himself a Progressive should... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          shayes, lunachickie, elwior

          ..champion the working class.

          And supporting higher energy prices is collaborating against the working and middle-class, collaborating against a better, more prosperous America.

          What do I call people who want higher energy prices?

          I call them Fairness Deniers.

          Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. www.hamiltonproject.org

          by PatriciaVa on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 08:35:52 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You champion the working class (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            blueoasis, Sparhawk, elwior

            by providing viable alternatives to the petroleum-auto-trucking complex like what existed before said complex trashed the US passenger rail system with the assistance of the Federal Government. In the few areas that still have commuter rail the cost is 1/4 to 1/3 that of driving and is faster to boot. I know by personal experience using the Metra commuter railroad in the Chicago suburbs.

            And as an aside studies have found that transportation costs in areas lacking public transportation can be well North of 20 percent of the median income while in areas with excellent public transportation can average half of that.

            •  The idea that oil is fairly priced so we all (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              elwior, Anakai

              should quit complaining is just such a bunch of elitist, revisionist bullshit.  

              "Inevitability" diminishes free will and replaces it with self-fulfilling prophecies."--Geenius At Wrok

              by lunachickie on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 06:59:34 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  WE need walkable communities, we need (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              NoMoreLies, elwior

              viable, reliable public transportation, and we need bike lanes.

              But getting all of those things at once, or any of them in some places is a serious up hill battle. One that is worth fighting, but that is not happening over night.

              "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

              by GreenMother on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 09:02:40 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  what will happen when oil prices reach the point (6+ / 0-)

    that the average American can't afford to drive to work?

    because that's the inevitable result of the endless warmongering

    We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

    by Lepanto on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 05:44:33 PM PDT

  •  Hey, HoundDog (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HoundDog, elwior

    This article (with a H/T to HoundDog) just showed up on my Facebook feed!

    Ain't life funny!

    We have it within our power to make the world over again ~ Thomas Paine

    by occupystephanie on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 06:07:31 PM PDT

    •  How does that work? I guess I should get a (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      occupystephanie, elwior

      facebook account.  I think I tried before but they don't give them to dogs.

      I was curious because I was in someone else's post and noticed this article is at the top of the most shared list with 2,900 or something even though it only has 20 recs here.

      I'm thinking maybe it went viral in the oil trading community, or oil industry?

      Humor Alert! No statement from this UID is intended to be true, including this one. Intended for recreational purposes only. Unauthorized interpretations may lead to unexpected results. This waiver void where prohibited. Artistic License - 420420

      by HoundDog on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 06:29:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Daily Kos shared it on Facebook (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        elwior

        What is funny is that I have not "liked" the DK FB page. (I have a ton of things already. I use it for organizing.) They didn't just share it they wrote that H/T sentence.

        When I had 12K FB likes, I asked. They had shared it on their Daily KOS Recommends on their email list. Wowser!

        They like their eyes, so they promote our writing when they think it will "work".  Interesting stuff.

        We have it within our power to make the world over again ~ Thomas Paine

        by occupystephanie on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 08:02:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  we could be in for a genuine oil shock (7+ / 0-)

    if the situation worsens. What is happening in Iraq and Syria has not happened for hundreds of years, and things are very fluid. ISIS is taking advantage of an enormous power vacuum left by decades of idiotic American foreign policy to establish a Caliphate. They are literally redrawing the map (as they boast about in their propaganda).

    The last time there was a genuine push to transition to renewable energy in America was during the Arab oil embargo in the 70s. That was the most famous attempt to wield the "oil weapon"--threatening oil scarcity in order to extract concessions from oil-consuming nations. And boy did it backfire.

    When the embargo was broken, the 3-hour-lines at the gas stations disappeared, and so did any impetus to switch to sustainable energy. All oil-producing nations learned their lesson from that: never again would they risk pushing consumers to switch to renewables. That is why prices are kept high (as high as they dare), but never too high--and they are, of course, lowered come election time.

    Absent a situation where they genuinely lose control over oil production, we will never see a repeat of the 70s. But if they do lose control...

    KSA and other Gulf states are not transparent about their reserves. We rely on them to pick up the slack and maintain price stability should global production drop. But if they can't, then prices will go up.

    We won't switch to sustainable energy unless there's a prolonged, large spike in energy prices. Until then the oil companies will be able to manipulate the market and drive out their competition.

    We are rapidly reaching the tipping point where solar and wind are more economically efficient than fossil fuels. Once we're there, and the price of oil spikes, then we will see exponential growth in the development of alternative energy capacity as countries quickly switch away from oil, which has become economically unviable. In a decade, maybe less, our energy systems will look completely different.

    The oil-producing states are doing everything in their power to keep this from happening, of course. But this latest business in Iraq and Syria might well blow up their carefully-laid plans.

    "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

    by limpidglass on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 06:54:12 PM PDT

  •  Hound, you are amazing. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GreenMother, elwior

    Thank you for making diaries with this information. It is so important.

  •  Gee, why don't we just tax speculation... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NoMoreLies, blueoasis, rustypatina, elwior

    Like we do ordinary income? The kind that you actually WORK for? That would make some difference.

    "No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up." --Lily Tomlin

    by paulex on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 07:21:57 PM PDT

  •  Some speculation is valid (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rustypatina, elwior

    like an airline company for example. Speculation is a "bet" that the commodity will actually be higher when the bet comes due. If they are correct then they pay less for their fuel than they otherwise would. Of course they could also lose the bet. But as Sen Sanders points out most speculation is Wall St, not some company that needs the potential lower price to turn a profit.

    Oil isn't the only commodity that is speculated on. Corn, wheat, coffee, cattle, and pork bellies, to name a few are all speculated on. Some is done by farmers and ranchers but again; most is done by Wall St. If you want to reign in speculation, then reign in all speculation.

    "Nothing travels faster than the speed of light, with the possible exception of bad news. Which follows its own special rules." ~ Douglas Adams

    by coyote66 on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 09:05:47 PM PDT

  •  Catchup Bernie (0+ / 0-)

    I've been saying since the crash that gas prices should've been dropping but Wall Street has always manipulated oil prices.  If there were true "competition" oil prices would be much lower.

    We don't get much if any oil from the Middle East ours comes mostly from South America or Canada.  If one of these two sources were interrupted then we could/should see an increase.

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