====== FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE ======
America First Party
1630 A 30th Street #111
Boulder, Colorado 80301
Thursday, June 29, 2006
Market Manipulators Benefit from Nation's Failed Energy Policy
Boulder, CO -- A civil lawsuit filed yesterday against BP Products North America, Inc. by the government's Commodity Futures Trading Commission highlights the increased risk of price manipulation in tight energy markets, which are partly due to our nation's failed energy policies.
The CFTC has alleged that BP purchased enormous quantities of propane at a facility in Mont Belvieu, Texas in February 2004, effectively cornering the propane market for residential and commercial consumers in the Northeast and Midwest. BP employees alleged to be involved were quoted as saying that the market was "vulnerable to a squeeze" and that it was "tight enough that if someone wanted to play games with it, potentially they could." In discussing the alleged scheme, BP insiders were reportedly caught on an audio recording saying that, if successful, they "would know from thereafter, that we can control the market at will."
Today's market volatility and high prices, and by extension, exposure to the type of price manipulation alleged by the CFTC, is related to the tight match between supply and demand for petroleum products. With world oil and gas production decreasing by 4 to 6 percent per year, and world demand increasing by over 6% annually, this situation can only become more critical.
Decades of shortsighted and weak energy policies have increased our nation's vulnerabilities by allowing us to become a net importer of petroleum. The resulting tight energy market now leaves us open to domestic and foreign manipulation, while less developed nations like Brazil have pursued a sounder policy and succeeded in becoming energy independent. Although our energy usage is much greater than in Brazil (we use 25% of the world's energy), it is noteworthy that we now hold a dangerously small fraction of the world's energy resources -- a mere 5%.
At its Cincinnati Convention earlier this month, the America First Party adopted an energy platform plank to promote energy independence. It calls for the development of our domestic oil reserves, as well as alternative and renewable energies.
Jonathan Hill, National Chairman, 1-866-SOS-USA1, ext. 4