This week a powerful voice joined the call for increased oversight of our nation’s energy markets.

On Monday, the Industrial Energy Consumers of America (IECA) voiced its support of increased government oversight of the energy market as provided in the Oil and Gas Traders Oversight Act of 2006.

This legislation, which I introduced in April with Senators Snowe, Levin, Cantwell, Mikulski, and Boxer, seeks to increase transparency and accountability so the federal government can determine if speculation or manipulation is occurring in the oil, gas, and electricity markets.

Without increased federal oversight, consumers across the country continue to be left vulnerable to fraud.  And consumers risk being unknowingly forced to pay more, while the energy companies reap larger profits.
In his letter to Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Saxby ChamblissClarence (Saxby) Saxby ChamblissLobbying World Former GOP senator: Let Dems engage on healthcare bill OPINION: Left-wing politics will be the demise of the Democratic Party MORE and Ranking Member Tom HarkinThomas (Tom) Richard HarkinOrrin Hatch, ‘a tough old bird,’ got a lot done in the Senate Democrats are all talk when it comes to DC statehood The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE, IECA President Paul Cicio wrote:

“We believe that markets work better when market participants know there is strong government oversight that has the ability to catch and severely penalize market manipulation.  In the energy over-the-counter markets, there is neither sufficient government oversight nor sufficient penalties to deter manipulation. In the case of natural gas, we believe that less than one-third of all daily trades have CFTC oversight.