Regulate, Baby, Regulate; Drilling Won't Solve Much

Only energy industry re-regulation can stop zooming gas prices
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 7, 2010 8:30 AM CDT
Regulate, Baby, Regulate; Drilling Won't Solve Much
FILE - In this file photo taken Aug. 19, 2008, the Chevron Genesis Oil Rig Platform is seen in the Gulf of Mexico near New Orleans, La.   (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, file)

President Obama's decision to open up new offshore drilling was a brilliant political move that may or may not harm the environment, Thomas Frank writes in the Wall Street Journal. But if Obama wants to avoid a repeat of the oil price crisis of 2008—that which fueled the "drill here, drill now" slogan in the first place—he needs to look to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, not offshore oil rigs.

A battle is under way at the CFTC to re-regulate the energy industry, undoing the 2000 act that "allowed unprecedented levels of speculation in oil futures by investment banks and pension funds, bringing the familiar boom-bust cycle home to the gas pump," Frank writes."If the Obama administration succeeds in bringing oil prices under control, this is where they will do it." (More offshore oil stories.)

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