Fox, Jonathan

Jonathan Fox is a Consumer Advocate with the California Public Interest Research Group (CalPIRG).

Speculation Adds 83 Cents A Gallon to Gas Prices at the Pump

By Jonathan Fox

CALPIRG, a statewide consumer advocacy organization I work for, just released a new report entitled “How Speculation is Driving Up Gasoline Prices Today”. The report was authored by Robert Pollin and James Heintz with University of Massachusetts, Amherst and Americans for Financial Reform (AFR), a coalition of more than 250 national and state organizations working together for strong financial reform.

It confirms the obvious: price hikes at the pump are not simply a result of supply and demand.  This report found that Wall Street speculation drove prices at the pump up by 83 cents last month. Short term market speculation has played a greater role in distorting the true price of gas at the pump than changes in global markets. In fact, there is more supply and less demand today than there was two years ago when gas prices averaged $2.44 cents. Rampant speculation on oil prices is driving up the cost of gas at the pump and it needs to stop.