Co-authored by Blake J. Brockway.

On April 17, President Obama issued a statement calling for increased oversight of manipulation in oil markets. The President indicated that he will take executive actions to improve the government’s ability to analyze and investigate trading activities in energy markets and implement more quickly consumer protections under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

The President also called upon Congress to: (i) increase funding to provide additional staff and improved technology for energy market regulators; (ii) increase the civil and criminal penalties for market manipulation; and (iii) grant the Commodity Futures Trading Commission the authority to increase margin requirements for energy traders. The President’s proposal also calls for $52 million in additional funding for the CFTC and for an increase in financial penalties for violations by imposing fines on a per-day rather than per-occurrence basis.

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