The media was happy to give the Republicans a free forum and plenty of airtime to use to blame Obama for gas prices, but on April 17 Obama called for a crackdown on oil speculation, “We can’t afford a situation where speculators artificially manipulate markets by buying up oil, creating the perception of a shortage, and driving prices higher, only to flip the oil for a quick profit. We can’t afford the situation where some speculators can reap millions (of dollars in profits), while millions of American families get the short end of the stick. That’s not the way the market should work.”
Since Obama announced his crackdown on oil speculation, gas prices have fallen twelve cents a gallon. The media response to this news has been total silence.President Obama did in fact make a proclamation about cracking down on oil speculators, but much like most of Obama's proposals, they amounted to nothing more than talk. The gist of Obama's proposal consisted of two major initiatives. First, increase funding to the CFTC, the federal agency responsible for regulating the futures markets, by $52 million for the purposes of hiring more regulators and purchasing new technology. To date, that increase in funding has not occurred. The second critical part of his plan was to authorize the CFTC to increase the margin or collateral required for speculators to buy oil futures.
At the time Obama announced his crackdown the margin on a 1,000 barrels of light, sweet crude (LSC) was $6,885. This amount was set by the CFTC on March 26, 2012. Today, the margin on LSC is $6,548. That amount represents a 5% decline in the margin rate, the exact opposite of what President Obama proposed.
Unfortunately for liberals, the reason Obama is getting no credit for the recent decline in the gasoline price isn't because the media is biased, although they are just not in the way liberals want to believe, it's because his crackdown on speculators never actually amounted to anything more than a speech and therefore could have had no effect on prices.