US politicians urge action over record petrol prices

City A.M. Reporter
AMERICAN politicians have urged the US futures regulator to crack down on excessive speculation in oil markets as fuel prices hit record highs around the world.

The price of petrol has hit a fresh record in the UK, edging up 0.1p to 137.55p, while diesel was flat at 144.66p.

In the US, prices have jumped nearly 30 cents over the past month and now average $3.77 a gallon, according to the American Automobile Association, creating a political flashpoint as the presidential election campaigns heat up.

The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission should stop “dragging its feet” on implementing new regulations to stop Wall Street from dominating the oil market, 23 Democratic senators and 45 members of the House of Representatives said in a letter to the CFTC.

The lawmakers complained that gasoline prices are soaring, despite plenty of supply and low demand.

However, some analysts say there is little evidence of excessive speculation in oil markets and that prices are moving over concerns in the Middle East and strong demand from developing countries such as China and India.