News Release

Gas Price Manipulation?

NOMI PRINS
Author of the piece “How the Republicans Can Manipulate Oil Prices for Political Gain,” Prins said today: “Since their August highs, oil prices dropped from $77 to $59 per barrel. Gas prices have fallen from an average of $3.04 to $2.25 per gallon. In a September USA Today poll 42 percent of Americans thought there was a direct connection between the Republicans wanting to keep control of Congress and gas prices falling.

“Free-market types went to town. Oil is set by market forces, not Washington, rang the unified voice of analysts. ‘If only Bush had that kind of control,’ mused White House spokesman Tony Snow. But subtle manipulation is a form of control. …

“An overly speculated market like oil (the most traded commodity in the world) picks up on subtle signs. Just as traders push the market up, they can take it down, depending on those signs.”

Prins is a senior fellow at the think tank Demos. She worked as a managing director for Goldman Sachs and is author of the book How “Conservatives” are Picking Your Pocket (Whether You Voted for Them or Not).
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STEVE KRETZMAN
Executive director of Oil Change International, Kretzman’s most recent piece is “Separation Of Oil And State.” He said today: “What we’re seeing in the oil markets right now is a chilling demonstration of the mutual and constantly converging interests of oil and state in the U.S. In other words, it’s not a conspiracy — it’s the gasoline market, which is an oligopoly, recognizing that its collective self-interest lies in more Republican rule.

“In the current election cycle, the Center for Responsive Politics reports that donations from the oil industry and its employees are running 83 percent in favor of Republicans, which is the most pronounced slant by the oil industry — and possibly the most pronounced in any industry — ever. Clearly, they know which side their bread is buttered on, and can take actions to protect those interests.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167