But...but...speculators are innocent bystanders!
Weigel on why the DOJ needs to look at oil price speculation at this time, and the problems associated with doing so:
None of this would be particularly easy for American politicians. Is there anything they could do? Why, yes. The president—or members of Congress!—could skip the coming, predictable assault on oil company subsidies, and take on speculators instead. Wars and economic distress are not new to the oil market. But the market for oil futures has never been as big as it is now. It's basically quadrupled since the start of the financial crisis, as investors and funds have sought out safe, reliable commodities to invest in.
That's the political opening. The only question is whether anyone's actually able to go through it. Theoretically, the president of the United States could talk about this aspect of the gas price problem and elevate it. Unfortunately, the president is Barack Obama, whose every economic move is labeled "socialism" by the opposition, and who has already alienated some of the hedge fund managers in the center of this. A move against the commodities trade from Obama would be less Nixon goes to China than Johnson goes to Vietnam.