Right wing bloggers are trying to make an argument that GOP energy policies, if passed, would lower a tank of gas from $4.00 per gallon to around the $2.07 range.
They chant on a consistent basis that no new refineries have "come on line" since 1976, blaming Democrats for that.
Who's controlled the House and the Senate over the years?
Since the 95th Congress, Democrats have controlled the Senate in the 95th, 96th, 100th, 101st, 102nd, and 103rd Congress'. Republicans have controlled the Senate in the 97th, 98th, 99th, 104th, 105th, 106th, 108th, and 109th Congress'. The 107th and 110th were split.
In the House, Democrats have had a little more control, holding a majority from the 95th through the 104th Congress', Republicans in control the 105th through the 109th and Democrats taking back the House for the 110th.
Republicans have had ample opportunity to pass legislation to allow for more refineries. In fact, they had a good opportunity from 1997 to 2007 to create the "Change We Deserve".
They did nothing.
In fact, with no Democratic majority from 1997-2007, the spike in gas prices could be explained in several ways.
It's easy to argue that the oil companies are in the pockets of Republicans. Too easy...
Truth be told, the 106th Congress is the cause of our $4.00 a gallon gas. Both the House and the Senate were controlled by Republicans for the 106th.
The only practical difference between futures look-alike contracts and futures contracts is that the look-alikes are traded in unregulated markets whereas futures are traded on regulated exchanges. The trading of energy commodities by large firms on OTC electronic exchanges was exempted from CFTC oversight by a provision inserted at the behest of Enron and other large energy traders into the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 in the waning hours of the 106th Congress.
The impact on market oversight has been substantial. NYMEX traders, for example, are required to keep records of all trades and report large trades to the CFTC. These Large Trader Reports, together with daily trading data providing price and volume information, are the CFTC’s primary tools to gauge the extent of speculation in the markets and to detect, prevent, and prosecute price manipulation. CFTC Chairman Reuben Jeffrey recently stated: “The Commission’s Large Trader information system is one of the cornerstones of our surveillance program and enables detection of concentrated and coordinated positions that might be used by one or more traders to attempt manipulation.”
We're feeling the fiscal tails of this bad legislation now.
The lack of oversight in the oil speculation markets is the biggest cause of our gas price hikes. Drilling in ANWR and off our coasts is a band-aid solution. Fuel efficient vehicles, slowing our addiction to petroleum, utilizing alternative energy sources, and regulating the oil speculation markets will provide the gas price sticker shock relief we truly need.