Etheridge’s bill may help with soaring oil prices

Published 8:20 am Thursday, July 3, 2008

By Staff
(This editorial originally appeared in The Daily Record of Dunn on June 25.)
Anyone who can find a way to pop the bubble of sky-high oil prices will be a hero. And that hero may just turn out to be Rep. Bob Etheridge of Lillington.
The six-term congressmen has introduced legislation designed to minimize the effects of manipulation and excessive speculation in energy markets. And that seems to be a good approach, especially with more people blaming futures traders for the fast-rising gasoline prices.
The Harnett County man chairs the Agriculture subcommittee which has jurisdiction over the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the agency charged with preventing fraudulent practices in commodity futures trading, including oil and gasoline.
In other words, Rep. Etheridge is in a prime position to at least examine the problem. His bill, ‘‘H.R. 6334, The Increasing Transparency and Accountability in Oil Prices Act of 2008’’ includes, according to the news release, ‘‘three steps to ensure that energy prices are not being artificially increased by unfair market practices.’’
Will all that help? Maybe. The News &Observer of Raleigh reported earlier this week that, ‘‘One oil analyst told Congress that global crude oil trading regulation ’would significantly curb speculation and could burst the current oil price bubble.’ ‘‘
The Raleigh newspaper also reported that Rep. Etheridge’s bill appears to have been fast-tracked through the House, with a full floor vote possible as early as today.
We congratulate Rep. Etheridge for using his growing influence to address high oil prices, which are impacting our entire economy. And we hope his bill will quickly pop that oil price bubble.
If it does, look for Rep. Etheridge to gain national prominence as someone who can get things done on Capitol Hill.