Obama calls for end to energy loophole

June 22, 2008 at 10:36 PM
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WASHINGTON, June 22 (UPI) -- U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has announced new proposals aimed at controlling the high cost of energy.

ABC News reported Sunday that part of Obama's plan would close the so-called "Enron loophole," which was enacted in 2000 and exempts from federal regulation energy speculators who make trades electronically.

"For the past years, our energy policy in this country has been simply to let the special interests have their way -- opening up loopholes for the oil companies and speculators so that they could reap record profits while the rest of us pay $4 a gallon," the Illinois senator said in a statement.

Obama also is calling for the Federal Trade Commission and Justice Department to investigate price manipulation in the oil markets.

Obama's Republican opponent, Arizona Sen. John McCain, in the past has called for the Enron loophole to be closed, his campaign said.

"The truth is Barack Obama is following John McCain's lead to close a Wall Street loophole that was signed into law by President Bill Clinton," McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds said. "John McCain has supported bipartisan efforts to close this loophole and will work to address abuses in oil speculation. Barack Obama has voted the party line for Democrats who claim the loophole is fixed."

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