US in a push to limit speculation in oil markets

THE US Congress should take steps to limit speculation in oil markets, which has boosted prices as much as 30 per cent, a new report from the Democratic staff of a House of Representatives oversight committee said yesterday.

The report, based on data and opinions from industry experts, cites comments from Exxon Mobil chief executive officer Rex Tillerson and others that oil should be around $60-$70 (£37.21 to £43.42)?a barrel based on the fundamentals of supply and demand.

“Addressing excessive speculation offers the single most significant opportunity to reduce the price of [gasoline] for American consumers,” according to the report, prepared for

The paper was compiled by Democrats on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which has broad oversight of government policies.

The staff report, which also backs other positions championed by minority Democrats including eliminating oil company subsidies, is unlikely to gain much traction in the Republican-controlled House. It argues that Republican proposals, such as boosting domestic offshore drilling, would not achieve the goal of reining in $4 a gallon gasoline prices.