Attorney General Forms Team To Look Into Oil Price Manipulation

Someone at the Attorney General’s office must have finally looked at how high gasoline prices are right now and thought, “Maybe there’s something more than meets the eye here,” because President Obama announced earlier today that the AG is gathering his forces to see what, if any, behind-the-scenes shenanigans are going on to keep prices so high.

“The Attorney General’s putting together a team whose job it will be to root out any cases of fraud or manipulation in the oil markets that might affect gas prices,” Obama said during a speech in Nevada today. “[T]hat includes the role of traders and speculators. We are going to make sure that no one is taking advantage of the American people for their own short-term gain.”

The formation of this team, known as The Oil and Gas Price Fraud Working Group, was confirmed Attorney General Eric Holder on the AG’s official website. The team will include representatives from the Dept. of Justice, the National Association of Attorneys General, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, the Department of the Treasury, the Federal Reserve Board, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Depts. of Agriculture and Energy.

“Rapidly rising gasoline prices are pinching the pockets of consumers across the country,” said Holder. “We will be vigilant in monitoring the oil and gas markets for any wrongdoing so that consumers can be confident they are not paying higher prices as a result of illegal activity. If illegal conduct is responsible for increasing gas prices, state and federal authorities should take swift action.”

Attorney General Holder Announces Formation of Oil and Gas Price Fraud Working Group to Focus on Energy Markets []

Team to probe oil market fraud, manipulation: Obama [Reuters]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.