McCain and the Enron Loophole

I commented earlier on Jerome's front page diary 'Oil, uh-oh' that we should explore other ways to lower gas prices over the short term other than drilling offshore.  One of the solutions I wondered about was whether we could put some controls in place to prevent speculation from driving up the price.  The other solution was could we draw down the oil reserves.  

The attached link to DU contains a video of Olberman's Special Comment about the Enron Loophole, John McCain's position on it and how closing it would affect our gas prices.  You will also be surprised at who holds the biggest oil reserves.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/dis cuss/duboard.php?az=show_mesg&forum= 385&topic_id=149189&mesg_id=1491 89

Anyone who hasn't already seen it should watch.  Same as it ever was, the Republicans have gamed the system in order to appease their rich friends at the expense of everyone else.  Now they want us to believe that the reason gas prices are so high is because we Democrats are blocking offshore drilling, not because they have relaxed the rules for oil speculation and driven up the price.  We need to tackle this one head on as Keith has done.

Tags: loophole, mccain, Oil (all tags)

Comments

23 Comments

Why isn't this being played up more?

If Keith is right (and he seems to be), how can we continue to let this happen?  Why hasn't Congress gone public with the names of the people holding up the process?

Seems to me that we could stop the freefall in one day just by fixing this known problem.

by Dracomicron 2008-06-19 11:54AM | 0 recs
I had heard about the speculation problem before

but Keith's people have put together the whole package so nicely.  Maybe the media attention will kick Congress' butt into gear on this.

by GFORD 2008-06-19 11:56AM | 0 recs
damn!

see - this is what happens when you professionally shame yourself.  some people no longer can listen to you.  i cant watch the video due to a personal strike against the commenter.  maybe you could include another source or include some of the content in your diary?

by canadian gal 2008-06-19 11:59AM | 0 recs
Don't be silly

Come on, regardless of your opinion on Olbermann, it's a measure of respect to GFORD that you either watch it or do some research yourself if you're going to comment in his diary.

If you stop the video before it ends, I don't think the ticker goes up at all and they don't get credit for a view.

This was a moment of actual journalism, rather than punditry; if you support that sorta thing, it probably couldn't hurt to watch it anyways, if only to promote "hard" news.

by Dracomicron 2008-06-19 12:07PM | 0 recs
hhmm....

i assure you, i am not alone in my feelings about the source.   it may be a stellar piece of journalism, but as i said in my previous comment, this is the problem in doing what was done - credibility is lost forever.

i might add - i have A LOT of respect for GFORD.  and this is why i am trying to give some feedback to her so that this diary gets the attention it deserves.

by canadian gal 2008-06-19 12:13PM | 0 recs
Re: damn!

Crossposting from the "We need more drilling" thread, just for you:

I've seen people use that same argument against drilling. To be honest, we have estimates of what we think is there.

We don't know how much is really there. We don't know where exactly it is. We're basically ripping up ANWR in the hopes that we might find enough oil to matter. It's equivalent to ripping up your carpet because someone told you the previous owner may have buried treasure in the floorboards.

On the other hand, there's an brief but informative diary right above yours that links to an Olbermann segment on the Enron loophole that allows for speculation on energy markets if done electronically. Closing that could cut $25 off the price of oil almost immediately. That's an alternate, immediate solution that is entirely politically feasible. Seriously, who would defend "the Enron loophole"? Well, besides McCain.

The $25 link explains the ramifications and some brief history, the McCain link talks about how the bill got passed, some history and how McCain got away with objecting to it (he pretended like closing the loophole wasn't what he was objecting to)

by TCQuad 2008-06-19 12:13PM | 0 recs
thank you!

by canadian gal 2008-06-19 12:15PM | 0 recs
Re: damn!

c'mon, Canadian Gal, just a little peek, don't let a personal bias prevent you from some revealing truth...please?

BTW "this is what happens when you professionally shame yourself"

When did he do that?  Is that a national POV on him, or is that just your opinion?  Seriously, I am just curious, and I am NOT trying to stir anything up, so if you could just answer my question with a one liner, I would appreciate it, and that will avoid digging into the past turmoil.

If you don't want to watch it I could put together a summary after I review it( I missed it too) and post it

by KLRinLA 2008-06-19 12:13PM | 0 recs
Re: damn!

certainly my own opinion (although from what i have seen - shared by many).  as to why - when he implied racism, subconscious assassination wish about another democrat and denied sexism in the media.

and the info was posted above - thanks!

by canadian gal 2008-06-19 12:20PM | 0 recs
Re: damn!
Ok, fair enough!
Look sliek I don't have to do the summary, aw shucks, less work for me ;)
by KLRinLA 2008-06-19 12:41PM | 0 recs
Re: damn!

whoa..."looks like"

by KLRinLA 2008-06-19 12:41PM | 0 recs
are you boycotting Olbermann ?

by SevenStrings 2008-06-19 01:54PM | 0 recs
that would be a resounding.....

yes.

by canadian gal 2008-06-19 03:25PM | 0 recs
You should see my boycott list =)

I had a diary on that yesterday!!

by SevenStrings 2008-06-19 04:04PM | 0 recs
It's complicated but here's a few highlights.

It starts with Enron in the 1980's who got a change in the law (the Enron loophole) allowing one company to corner the online market in an entire commodity thanks to help from the Commodity Futures Trading System.

They were able to triple the price of heating oil in CA in the 1980's and artificially induce shortages and blackouts.

That loophole is currently being used by speculators to corner the market on oil. And it isn't just oil futures, they are stockpiling the actual oil.  Morgan Stanley is the biggest heating oil owner in New England right now.

Experts believe that closing that loophole would lower the price of oil by a minimum of 25% and some think as high as 50%.

I recommend you watch the video though as there is a lot more detail and video of the congressional hearings, etc.  Maybe if KO gets more attention for this kind of reporting, he will do more of it and less of the kind you object to.  It's really worth it, I promise.  

by GFORD 2008-06-19 02:30PM | 0 recs
i cant do it.

but on another note.  wow - what a story.  i was at a conference a few months ago with one of Canada's top economists and he was stating that the US consumes 25% of the world's oil.  betcha if the loophole was eliminated - gas prices worldwide would plummet.  nice diary rec'd btw.

by canadian gal 2008-06-19 03:29PM | 0 recs
Thanks cg. eom

by GFORD 2008-06-19 04:06PM | 0 recs
You cannot draw down existing wells..

at a much faster rate.

I am not an oilman, but I understand there are limits to how fast you can draw down an existing well.

by SevenStrings 2008-06-19 12:07PM | 0 recs
engineering limits...

by SevenStrings 2008-06-19 12:08PM | 0 recs
That's not the issue

The issue is unfair oil speculation driving up the price.

by Dracomicron 2008-06-19 12:08PM | 0 recs
Re: That's not the issue

The diary had 2 issues:  speculation, and pulling out oil at a faster rate from current fields.

Speculation becomes rampant when supplies are tight ~ railing against it has no effect.  You can either increase the supply, or you can takeover the markets.

I thought the diary was arguing for pulling out oil at a faster rate, so as to increase supply, and thereby control speculation.

My comment pointed out that you cannot really pull out the oil at a faster rate ~ thereforee you cannot use that method to control speculation.

by SevenStrings 2008-06-19 12:12PM | 0 recs
Fair enough

I can't watch the video from work; operating on memory here.

by Dracomicron 2008-06-19 12:28PM | 0 recs
My diary and yours are not at odds.

You are talking about the impact of creating more supply by drilling.  Mine is about creating more supply by closing the loophole that allows speculators to buy up existing supply and withhold it to drive up the price.

Either way, we both realize that until long term solutions can be implemented we have to have some relief in the short term.

by GFORD 2008-06-19 02:33PM | 0 recs

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