April 17, 2012
President Barack Obama is asking Congress for help in policing oil markets to be on the lookout for price manipulation by speculators. Obama says the country can't have some speculators reap millions while consumers suffer from high gas prices.
The president wants six times more staff at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to supervise the market. He also wants to raise penalties for market manipulation and give regulators the ability to require more money to back up speculative trades.
Obama's attention to oil speculation is his latest effort to focus on gasoline prices in the face of determined criticism of his energy policies by Republicans.
The average price of a gallon of gas at the pump has dropped slightly but is still higher than it was at this time last year.