According to the NY Times, an investigation into whether speculators are behind the run-up in energy prices has not yet found a smoking gun:
As Congress debates how to curtail the role of speculators and rein in rising oil prices, a federal task force said Tuesday that it had so far found no evidence that those investors are systematically pushing up the cost of energy.
Instead, in an interim report made public on Tuesday, the task force said that its research “does not support the hypothesis that the activity of these groups is driving prices higher.”
The preliminary study concluded that the rise in oil prices over the last five years was “largely due” to fundamental factors like rapidly rising consumption and sluggish growth in energy supplies worldwide.
The short-hand for that last paragraph is “supply and demand”. (You’re all just shocked, I know.)
Looks like Congress (and specifically, the Democratic leadership) is off on another wild goose chase.
Maybe they should just ask John McCain. That well-known straight shooter, ever alert for a mavericky moment (*cough*), is airing an ad about all the pain at the pump…. and who, specifically, is responsible for it.
Subtle like a brick, ole John, eh?