Senators battle rising gas prices | BrainerdDispatch.com | Brainerd, Minnesota

Senators battle rising gas prices

OTHER OPINION: SPECULATION

Posted: March 29, 2011 - 8:31am

If one U.S. senator has a shot at reining in the sort of speculating that artificially inflates and drives up gas prices — to $4 and maybe even $5 a gallon by this summer — how about 13 U.S. senators?

We recently offered kudos to Sen. Amy Klobuchar for ripping off a letter to the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, urging immediate action on excessive price speculation in the oil markets. Turns out fellow Minnesota Sen. Al Franken signed the letter, too — along with 11 others.

Franken’s office reported that oil trades by speculators have jumped 35 percent since January amid civil unrest in North Africa and the Middle East. That has caused U.S. gas prices to soar by almost 40 percent.

“Minnesotans are already struggling in this economy and I’m working every angle I can to make sure gas prices don’t continue to go unchecked,” Franken said in a statement. “That’s why I’m urging regulators to exercise the authority they were given by the Wall Street Reform Act to clamp down on the damage oil speculators are causing and help stem the rise in prices at the pump.”

Anyone emptying their wallet just to fill their gas tanks can applaud the efforts of Franken, Klobuchar and others watching out for them, for doing what can be done. The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission can respond by doing all it can to ease the motoring public’s pain at the pump.

— Duluth News Tribune