Industry Organizations, Carriers Lobby To Curb Oil Speculation
A broad coalition helmed by the Air Transport Association that includes the nation's largest carriers, the Air Line Pilots Association, the Association of Corporate Travel Executives and the National Business Travel Association, is calling on the U.S. Congress to provide an emergency package to regulate commodities trading, which they said has contributed, in part, to a high rise in fuel prices.
The 38-organization Stop Oil Speculation Now Coalition, which launched earlier this week, aims to bolster regulations of oil futures speculation, limit the number of energy futures trades and require new reporting and further transparency into those markets.
ATA president and CEO James May during a conference call said "Congress needs to act immediately" to head off "serious consequences for the industry" before its August recess. May today endorsed a bill proposed by Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) that places or reinstates some curbs on commodities markets.
While the role of speculation in oil price increases remains in dispute, May stressed that action is not the silver bullet, but rather one of many opportunities to help curb oil's dramatic price growth. Others include increased drilling—particularly opening up the United States Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
The nation's largest carriers earlier this week launched the aggressive lobbying campaign, beckoning frequent flyers and other clients to send a form e-mail to Congress calling for immediate action.