Escalating gasoline prices are a huge concern these days, driving all kinds of economic problems and cultural changes. There is concern however that financial speculation, not only supply and demand are inflating costs. Analysts believe that limits on the energy futures markets could drop prices by half. If Congress were to put these laws into effect, the price of gas could drop back to $2 a gallon.

Marketwatch reports:

Testifying to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Michael Masters of Masters Capital Management said that the price of oil would quickly drop closer to its marginal cost of around $65 to $75 a barrel, about half the current $135. Fadel Gheit of Oppenheimer & Co., Edward Krapels of Energy Security Analysis and Roger Diwan of PFC Energy Consultants agreed with Masters’ assessment at a hearing on proposed legislation to limit speculation in futures markets. Krapels said that it wouldn’t even take 30 days to drive prices lower, as fund managers quickly liquidated their positions in futures markets. “Record oil prices are inflated by speculation and not justified by market fundamentals,” according to Gheit. “Based on supply and demand fundamentals, crude-oil prices should not be above $60 per barrel.”

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