(Host) Senator Bernie Sanders is backing legislation that he says could reduce the price of gasoline by a dollar or two a gallon.
Several years ago, energy markets were deregulated by the federal government. Sanders says that has helped to drive fuel prices higher.
He thinks it’s time to re-impose regulations on Wall Street firms that are making huge profits by buying and selling oil futures.
(Sanders) "There is a growing belief that a significant part of the increased costs for oil and gas has to do with speculation on the part of companies like Goldman Sachs who are investing in oil futures. And some people think that that may be as much as 25 to 50 % of the cost of a barrel of oil right now, which is huge. The problem is that a lot of that speculation is taking place in unregulated markets."
(Host) Sanders says the industry needs to be re-regulated because these corporate hedge funds clearly benefit from higher energy costs.
(Sanders) "Isn’t it coincidental that among other things Goldman Sachs, which is trading to the tune of billions of dollars in oil futures, also has analysts who are just predicting that oil is going to go up to $200 a barrel. And every time they make that prediction it only adds momentum to people speculating more and more. So it is becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy."
(Host) Sanders says he’s also working to provide more federal money for the Low Income Heating Assistance Program.
He says that’s because there are concerns that the cost of a gallon of heating oil next winter will be twice as high as it was this past winter.