Udall wants transparency in global energy trade

The sharp rise in the price of gasoline demands that the Obama administration do more to ensure market transparency, U.S. Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., said Thursday.

Gasoline prices spiked by 45 cents per gallon in the past two months, to an average of $3.42, Udall said.

“The increase in prices has me worried” that it threatens the nation’s economic recovery.

Unrest in the Middle East, especially involving petroleum exporters such as Libya, adds to the difficulty of understanding how the commodity is priced, Udall said. Greater transparency in the global energy market, however, could help prices stay down, he said.

To that end, Udall said he planned to ask Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Trade Representative Ron Kirk to work with the World Trade Organization to discourage collusion among oil exporters and encourage more efficient global trade.

Getting the World Trade Organization more involved in the petroleum market would enhance trade and economic growth, he said.

“There are a lot of elements at play” in the energy market, including speculators, which Udall said needed to be monitored, noting speculation was tied to the price jump in the summer of 2008.


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