As of this writing, Wall Street oil speculators are again driving up the price of oil to near $90 per barrel.

There was hope that the price relief the American people had experienced at the pump in recent weeks was a step in the right direction. Our hopes were dashed, however, as gasoline dealers are once again dramatically raising prices in lock-step with Wall Street.

Recently, I witnessed one fueling station in Waterville raise the price for a gallon of regular not once, but twice in one day.

I have read in the media time and again the various excuses as to why the price of a barrel of oil goes up on Wall Street. The excuses are never really about the basics of supply and demand anymore. I am convinced that the bankers, hedge-fund shell-gamers and pension fund managers are all in on the fix to make a buck at the expense of us consumers.

If we are to ever gain a foothold on an economic recovery, the clear solution, in my opinion, is to repeal the Commodities Futures Modernization Act of 2000. This law gives Wall Street commodities traders unprecedented license to bid up oil futures contracts.

These futures contracts change hands on paper so many times, on average between 50 to 60 times on the market, that the price of a barrel of oil rises dramatically. On average, excessive oil speculation is directly responsible for about a $30 premium on a barrel of oil. The final insult: These traders never take delivery of the oil.

We need to demand that Congress repeal this law immediately and come up with a comprehensive energy plan that works. We need to get oil speculation out of Wall Street so we have a fighting chance at economic recovery.

Wayne Burke

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