Saturday, July 15, 2006

Traders, not producers, setting oil prices?

This is an interesting little comment from the US Secretary of Energy on rising oil prices. While it's usual US Right strategy to bitch about OPEC (but, curiously, not Alberta) whenever prices go up, the Secretary is claiming that the traders on the market are the ones who're responsible for rising prices. The basic argument, which makes sense, is that since producers can't control how much oil is on the market any more -- they're imprisoned by natural limits and political unrest -- then the traders, who buy and sell the oil, are the ones who are responsible for the prices.

Of course, since traders operate under native government regulations, then, ultimately, native governments are bearing responsibility under this scenario. I doubt very much, though, that the Secretary will be doing anything to discharge it.

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