Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) said Sunday that the “Obama administration’s new task force on gas prices doesn’t go far enough,” according to the Wall Street Journal.
“The Justice Department should take the lead, seize this moment, and send a message, a very strong deterrent message that this country will not tolerate the kind of illegal speculation and trading and hedge fund activity that may be driving prices up,” Mr. Blumenthal said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
Note that word “may.” Industry analysts say high gas prices reflect rising global demand, a weak dollar and concerns about supply stemming from Middle East unrest. They aren’t sure what role, if any, is played by illegal activities.
The Obama administration Thursday announced a new task force to look into potential illegal activity in the oil and gas markets. It includes Department of Justice officials as well as representatives from market oversight agencies like the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Federal Trade Commission.
Mr. Blumenthal, a former attorney general in Connecticut, said the task force was only monitoring and not investigating the situation. ”There really needs to be an investigation, for example, involving subpoenas and compulsory process,” he said.