Junk oil deregulation law to control speculation in oil price hikes – Anakbayan

MILITANT youth group Anakbayan called on the Aquino administration today to scrap the Oil Deregulation Law as a response to the seemingly-endless spate of oil price hikes in the country, the latest of which consisted of a P2.00 per liter increase in gasoline and is the 10th in 12 weeks.

“Government intervention is needed to curb the insatiable greed of local oil firms” said Anakbayan chairperson Vencer Crisostomo.

He cited a 2006 investigation by the United States Senate whose findings indicated that 60% of the price of crude oil is due to ‘speculation’.

Speculation, in the context of the global oil industry, is when ‘speculators’ purchase stocks of crude oil at a future date at a presently-agreed-upon price. The rationale is that the speculators are anticipating that oil prices will rise beyond the level in which they purchased their stocks, thus enabling them to sell their crude oil at a huge profit. However, the large-scale purchasing of oil ‘futures’ creates further demand for the product, thus driving up its price in the world market even more.

“Whenever there are certain global events which affect crude oil prices, speculators undertake a frenzy of ‘futures’ purchasing, thus causing world prices to balloon” said Crisostomo.

Meanwhile, Anakbayan rejected Energy Secretary Rene Almendras’ explanation of his rejection of calls for ‘oil regulation’, calling him ‘stupid’ and ‘a mouthpiece of the oil cartel’.

“Almendras is raising the ‘boogey’ of the gov’t spending billions to subsidize pump prices to cover-up the fact that the administration can do something to stop the hikes without resorting to subsidies” said Crisostomo.

He pointed out that should the Oil Deregulation Law be scrapped, the gov’t would now have to power to investigate every oil price hike and prohibit those that are found to be ‘unfair’ and ‘baseless’.

“The fact of the matter is, the Oil Deregulation Law enables the ‘speculatory pricing’ to be automatically passed into the already-burdened shoulders of the Filipino consumers” said the Anakbayan leader.

“Aquino and Almendras should quit being the spineless PR persons of the ‘Big 3’and start defending the welfare of the people. There’s clearly a solution to this problem, all it requires is some balls and political will on their part” concluded Crisostomo.

Anakbayan is a militant organization of young workers, farmers, professionals, students, migrants, women, indigenous peoples, Moros, and Christians.


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