Rising gas prices

Ok, so this is a bit out-of-character for my blog (or me and Wes' blog -- not that he posts here anymore), but I got an email today from Delta about how much the airline companies are suffering from the rising gas prices, which are based largely on speculation. I wanted to post the email in this blog post, but go figure, it's 'copyrighted' ! But the basic message was that much of the gas price inflation is based on speculation and not actually related to the supply of gas itself. There are things that can be done about this, and if you want to do something yourself, you can write your congress people here and fill out the easy form to let your congress men and women know that this shouldn't happen and they can stop it. Okay? Ok. Yay for America where complaining can make a difference!

And here's some info from that site (since it's not copyrighted):
Over the last 20 years, commodities markets have become increasingly less regulated. Today, as many as 90 percent of all commodities trades occur outside of the traditional marketplace exchanges. In these so-called “Swaps trades”, parties secretly buy and sell commodities with absolutely no one watching. This means speculators can manipulate oil prices and corner the market without anyone knowing.

In addition, other loopholes exist allowing increasingly sophisticated speculators to take advantage of consumers. For example, in 2000 Enron lobbied policy makers to permit some U.S. commodities exchanges to operate without normal oversight. This has allowed speculators to dodge public disclosure rules that would normally limit the number of trades an investor can make.

They offer a number of ways to solve this problem, including:
Positions of traders in all markets should be reported to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and should be categorized based on where the trades occur and who is doing the trading. This will provide vital information to detect and prevent market manipulation.

And there are news releases and forms and all kinds of other things on the site too. So, if you're interested in contacting your congressmen, click on the link below.

animated gifs from Library of Congress photos

Kevin J Wier makes animated gifs using old photographs from the library of congress flickr account. ...