Energy Markets Emergency Act of 2008
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The Energy Markets Emergency Act of 2008 (H.R.6377) is a bill in the 110th Congress that "directs the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to use its authority to deal with issues causing major market disturbances."  More specifically, the legislation directs the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to utilize all its authority, including its emergency powers, to curb immediately excessive speculation, price distortion, sudden or unreasonable fluctuations or unwarranted changes in prices, or other unlawful activity that is causing major market disturbances that prevent the market from accurately reflecting the forces of supply and demand for energy commodities.
On July 25, 2008, Republicans successfully blocked the Democratic majority's efforts to move the key piece of its energy legislation forward in the Senate. Sixty "yes" votes were required for the cloture motion to be successful, but the measure received only 50 "yes" votes with 43 lawmakers opposed. Senate Democrats said the legislation was needed to give the government new powers to curb speculators, whom many lawmakers accuse of being behind the run-up in crude oil and gasoline prices. However, Senate Republicans strongly opposed the bill, arguing the legislation should be modified to also boost U.S. oil production by allowing more offshore drilling and developing vast oil shale fields in the West.
<USbillinfo congress="110" bill="H.6377" />
<USvoteinfo year="2008" chamber="house" rollcall="468" />
Articles and resources
- Project Vote Smart’s info page on Energy Markets Emergency Act of 2008 (H.R.6377).
- Tom Doggett, "Senate energy speculation bill fails key vote," Reuters, accessed via The Washington Post on July 25, 2008.
- Donny Shaw, "Congress Takes on the Oil Specualtors," OpenCongress.org Gossip Blog, July 9, 2008