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Shaheen calls on CFTC to curb excessive speculation, highlights need for energy efficiency

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, released the following statement in response to the announcement that the United States will release 30 million barrels of oil from its strategic petroleum reserves, with another 30 million barrels released by additional countries, as part of an effort to offset oil supply disruptions in the Middle East.

“I think this was a responsible and strategic decision on the part of the Administration, in coordination with our global partners, to account for the disruption to oil supplies from turmoil in the Middle East.

"The announcement is already having an impact on oil prices, which have dropped this morning to the lowest price in four months. This will provide much needed relief to families who are feeling pain at the pump this summer, and will help the tourism industry, which is crucial to New Hampshire’s economy.

"Still, the petroleum release is only a temporary solution and highlights the need to crack down on speculation, which is in part responsible for wild swings in the oil market.  Oil prices driven up by Wall Street speculation serves no one but speculators. That is why I am again calling on the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to stop delaying and to start enforcing speculation limits, which it was instructed to do in the Wall Street Reform Bill.

"We also need to focus on energy efficiency and domestic energy sources so that we are not reliant on foreign oil. That’s why Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) and I introduced a comprehensive bipartisan national strategy to reduce our energy consumption through efficiency. It is an effective, affordable strategy that uses existing technology and creates jobs."