There is no question the United States needs a long-term strategy to deal with the related problems of high gas prices, energy consumption and global warming. But there is no simple fix.
Energy markets are global, complex and vulnerable to excessive speculation, fraud and manipulation. When you factor in a weak dollar, you end up with record oil and gas prices that only continue to escalate.
It is clear that opening up the coastline of California and the protected areas of the Outer Continental Shelf to new drilling is not the answer. That wouldn’t produce lower gas prices any time in the near future.
Instead, we need a real, long-term strategy to address our nation’s addiction to fossil fuels. We need to make the shift towards renewable energy and invest in clean technology. And we need to get serious about the problem of excessive speculation in our energy futures markets—and protect these critical markets from fraud and manipulation.
- Ensuring federal oversight of U.S. energy futures traded on domestic and foreign exchanges to prevent manipulation, fraud or excessive speculation.
- Curbing speculation by large institutional investors, who are currently exempt from federal regulation when they trade energy futures through brokers or dealers via “swaps.”
- Investing in renewable and low-carbon energy alternatives like bio-diesel, E85, and other low-carbon fuels in our motor vehicle fuel supply.
- Extending energy efficiency and renewable energy incentives.
- Comprehensive action on global warming [link to booklet].
- Increasing fuel economy by 10 miles per gallon over 10 years, or from a fleetwide average of 25 miles per gallon to 35 miles per gallon over 10 years.
- Closing the “Enron Loophole” to prevent manipulation, fraud and excessive speculation in electronic energy markets. It will restore transparency by requiring traders to provide an audit trail and record-keeping. And it places limits on speculation.