Phil Hodgen is an international tax lawyer who also Twitters. So I’m not the only one who has an insatiable desire to talk, all the time, to whomever will listen, to strangers, while out walking the dog or, as Phil has done this week, while climbing in the Alps…
Wait a minute….”
An Open letter to All Airline Customers:
Our country is facing a possible sharp economic downturn
because of skyrocketing oil and fuel prices, but by
pulling together, we can all do something to help now.
For airlines, ultra-expensive fuel means thousands of
lost jobs and severe reductions in air service to both
large and small communities. To the broader economy, oil
prices mean slower activity and widespread economic pain.
This pain can be alleviated, and that is why we are taking
the extraordinary step of writing this joint letter to our
customers. Since high oil prices are partly a response to
normal market forces, the nation needs to focus on
increased energy supplies and conservation. However,
there is another side to this story because normal market
forces are being dangerously amplified by poorly
regulated market speculation.
Twenty years ago, 21 percent of oil contracts were
purchased by speculators who trade oil on paper with
no intention of ever taking delivery. Today, oil
speculators purchase 66 percent of all oil futures
contracts, and that reflects just the transactions that
are known. Speculators buy up large amounts of oil and
then sell it to each other again and again. A barrel of
oil may trade 20-plus times before it is delivered and
used; the price goes up with each trade and consumers
pick up the final tab. Some market experts estimate
that current prices reflect as much as $30 to $60 per
barrel in unnecessary speculative costs.
Over seventy years ago, Congress established regulations
to control excessive, largely unchecked market
speculation and manipulation. However, over the past
two decades, these regulatory limits have been weakened
or removed. We believe that restoring and enforcing
these limits, along with several other modest measures,
will provide more disclosure, transparency and sound
market oversight. Together, these reforms will help
cool the over-heated oil market and permit the
economy to prosper.
The nation needs to pull together to reform the oil
markets and solve this growing problem.
We need your help. Get more information and contact
Congress by visiting StopOilSpeculationNow.com.