Washington, DC – Today, Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter voted in favor of the Commodity Market Transparency and Accountability Act (H.R. 6604), a bill which would reduce gas prices by preventing excessive speculation and energy market manipulation. The bill received bipartisan support, but with a final vote of 276 to 151, it failed to get the two-thirds majority necessary for passage.
“I am disappointed this critical legislation failed to pass,” said Congresswoman Shea-Porter. “Gas prices are continuing to stretch family budgets and the American people need some immediate relief. This legislation would have curbed excessive speculation, protected American consumers, and lowered prices at the pump.”
The Commodity Market Transparency and Accountability Act would have taken common sense steps to curb excessive speculation in the energy markets, further close the Enron loophole, bring much-needed transparency to commodities and futures markets, and strengthen enforcement to prevent market manipulation and to prosecute fraud. It also would have given the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) needed flexibility, so that it could curtail excessive speculation and other practices distorting the energy market.
Economic experts have testified that excessive speculation in the energy markets may be responsible for artificially increasing oil prices an additional $20 and $60 per barrel, and the International Monetary Fund recently stated that “speculation has played a significant role in the run-up of oil prices.”