Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is leading an effort to crack down on “excessive” Wall Street speculation, said that President Barack Obama’s decision to veto the Keystone XL pipeline has not contributed to high gas prices by sending the wrong message to traders in oil futures markets.
The Daily Caller asked Sanders, “Do you think the [Obama] administration stopping the Keystone Pipeline could have contributed to sending the wrong message to speculators?”
Sanders responded, “We’re dealing with a lot of aspects of energy policy. But once again, if people think that the problem is supply and demand, the facts contradict that. There is more supply than there was three years ago; there is less demand than since 1997. Prices should be going down, not up.”
According to Sanders official website, his proposed legislation would “set a 14-day deadline for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to implement rules to stop excessive speculation by Wall Street traders in oil futures markets.”
Sanders’ remarks were made at a news conference Wednesday alongside the bill’s co-sponsors, Democratic Sens. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Ben Cardin of Maryland, Al Franken of Minnesota and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.
A reporter pointed out that all of the senators on stage supported the latest Iran sanctions measure, which the State Department had warned might raise the price of gasoline. The group was asked if they held any responsibility for the high gas prices.
“No. Well, I think as all of us have said supply is now greater than it was three years ago when gas was $1.94 a gallon and demand is lower than any time since 1997. Look, there’s always a reason why. If it’s not Iran, it’s Syria. If it’s not Syria it’s Libya,” Sanders said.
“You know, the truth is where oil comes is always a volatile area, isn’t it? So one can always come up with a reason.”