Some will call it pure politics. Others will call it absolutely necessary in an economy where gas prices are skyrocketing. But no matter how you look at it, this new move by the Obama administration to try and bring down gas prices will be another opportunity for Republicans to bitch and moan that too much Wall Street regulations are coming out of the Obama White House.
In trying to influence the price Americans are paying at the pump, the President will call on Congress to:
- Boost spending on technology to improve better oversight and surveillance of energy markets.
- Increase by six times the money spent on surveillance and enforcement staff of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to better deter oil market manipulation.
- Increase from $1 million to $10 million civil and criminal penalties against firms that engage in market manipulation.
- In an effort designed to limit energy market disruptions, give the Commodity Futures Trading Commission authority to increase the amount of money that a trader must put up to back a trading position.
If Congress agree to these measures, gas prices may come down a notch. But don’t expect anything to get done in an election year when Republicans are looking for anything to blame on this President. And given that the President’s proposal has more regulations for Wall Street speculators, expect Republicans to use extra words and terms like socialization and class warfare to describe the president’s attempt to bring down gas prices.