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H.R. 6377 (110th): Energy Markets Emergency Act of 2008


The text of the bill below is as of Jun 26, 2008 (Considered and Passed by the House).


I

110th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 6377

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

June 26, 2008

(for himself, Mr. Van Hollen, Mr. Etheridge, Mr. Boswell, Mr. Cardoza, Ms. DeLauro, Mr. Stupak, Mr. Larson of Connecticut, Mr. Welch of Vermont, Mr. Matheson, Mr. Mahoney of Florida, Mr. Barrow, Mr. McIntyre, Mr. Holden, Mr. Miller of North Carolina, Mr. Butterfield, Mr. Kagen, Mr. Hodes, Mrs. Davis of California, Mr. Shuler, Mr. Pomeroy, Mr. Farr, and Mr. Lampson) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Agriculture

June 26, 2008

Committee on Agriculture discharged; considered and passed

A BILL

To direct the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to utilize all its authority, including its emergency powers, to curb immediately the role of excessive speculation in any contract market within the jurisdiction and control of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, on or through which energy futures or swaps are traded, and to eliminate excessive speculation, price distortion, sudden or unreasonable fluctuations or unwarranted changes in prices, or other unlawful activity that is causing major market disturbances that prevent the market from accurately reflecting the forces of supply and demand for energy commodities.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Energy Markets Emergency Act of 2008.

2.

Energy markets

(a)

Findings

The Congress finds as follows:

(1)

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission was created as an independent agency, in 1974, with the mandate to enforce and administer the Commodity Exchange Act, to ensure market integrity, to protect market users from fraud and abusive trading practices, and to prevent and prosecute manipulation of the price of any commodity in interstate commerce.

(2)

Congress has given the Commodity Futures Trading Commission authority under the Commodity Exchange Act to take necessary actions to address market emergencies.

(3)

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission may use its emergency authority with respect to any major market disturbance which prevents the market from accurately reflecting the forces of supply and demand for a commodity.

(4)

Congress has declared, in section 4a of the Commodity Exchange Act, that excessive speculation imposes an undue and unnecessary burden on interstate commerce.

(5)

On June 6, 2008, the price of crude oil traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange hit an all-time record of $139.12 per barrel.

(6)

The average price of a barrel of crude oil in 2007 was $72, and the average price of a barrel of crude oil to date in 2008 is $109.

(7)

Heating oil futures contracts have risen in price from $2.97 to $3.81 during the March through May contract months.

(8)

United States airlines are forecast to spend $61,200,000,000 on jet fuel in 2008, which is $20,000,000,000 more than they spent for jet fuel in 2007.

(9)

According to the American Automobile Association—

(A)

families and businesses are paying an average of $4.07 per gallon for regular gasoline, which is near the all-time high and is more than double the price in 2001; and

(B)

truckers and farmers are paying an average of $4.77 per gallon for diesel fuel, which is near the all-time high and triple the price in 2001.

(10)

During this decade, energy demand has been steadily on the rise in nations such as China and other Asian exporting nations.

(11)

In a May 2008 report, the International Monetary Fund raised the possibility that speculation has played a significant role in the run-up of oil prices, and stated It is hard to explain current oil prices in terms of fundamentals alone. The recent surge in the oil price seems to go well beyond what would be indicated by the growth of the world economy..

(b)

Direction from Congress

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission shall utilize all its authority, including its emergency powers, to—

(1)

curb immediately the role of excessive speculation in any contract market within the jurisdiction and control of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, on or through which energy futures or swaps are traded; and

(2)

eliminate excessive speculation, price distortion, sudden or unreasonable fluctuations or unwarranted changes in prices, or other unlawful activity that is causing major market disturbances that prevent the market from accurately reflecting the forces of supply and demand for energy commodities.