SPECULATORS

According to the US Energy Information Agency “US oil demand during the first half of 2008 fell an average of 800,000 barrels per day compared with the same period a year ago, the biggest drop in 26 years.” At the same time, the price of oil was soaring in the first six months of 2008, […]


According to the US Energy Information Agency “US oil demand during the first half of 2008 fell an average of 800,000 barrels per day compared with the same period a year ago, the biggest drop in 26 years.”

At the same time, the price of oil was soaring in the first six months of 2008, reaching US$147 per barrel in early July.

Queried by consumers organisations and Congress, the Bush administration and representatives of the oil cartel vehemently denied that speculators were driving up prices, but that the unrealistic rise in fuel prices was simply a matter of “demand and supply”.

Based on new data – surprise, surprise – the Colorado Wyoming Petroleum Marketers Association now has disclosed that oil speculators poured more than $260 billion into commodity index funds in the past five years, while the Commodity Futures Trading Commission estimates that 49 percent of energy trades are now speculative.

The best news comes from the Petroleum Marketers Association of America, which says that many speculators already have “one foot out the door” following the steep slide in oil prices.

Let’s hope consumers and Congress keep up the pressure to root out these pests.