It's not all speculation on oil

An offshore oil platform


Scott Jagow: Oil is above $142 a barrel. One reason for that is a new report out this morning about the future of oil. Here's Amy Scott.

Amy Scott: The International Energy Agency says oil prices have doubled in the last year because demand is growing and supplies are tight. In a report out today, the agency says there's little evidence that speculation is to blame.

Tom Kloza is chief analyst with the Oil Price Information Service. He says there's no question fundamentals have pushed prices up. But he likens the role of speculators to performance-enhancing drugs.

Tom Kloza: It's like hitting 70 home runs. Maybe fundamental performance and just a sharp eye for a pitch'll take you to 50. But maybe there's a little bit of performance enhancing that takes you that next 20 home runs.

U.S. lawmakers want the market to clean up. Members of Congress have proposed at least nine bills targeting speculators. A hedge fund manager told a House panel last week that curbing speculation could cut the price of oil in half within a matter of weeks.

In New York, I'm Amy Scott for Marketplace.

About the author

Amy Scott is Marketplace’s education correspondent covering the K-12 and higher education beats, as well as general business and economic stories.


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