Air Transport Association of America Urges Congress to Act on Oil Costs

The Air Transport Association of America (ATA), the airline industry trade group, launched a broad coalition effort urging Congress to immediately find bipartisan solutions to the worldwide surge in oil prices and decline in the U.S. economy. ATA was joined by 18 other key industry, labor and consumer groups, including the American Association of Travel Agents (ASTA).

In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH), the coalition urged immediate action, through either the Commodity Futures Trading Commission or Congress, to ensure meaningful reforms are put in place to restore market integrity.

“This country needs a fair, transparent and balanced energy commodities market, not one that is skewed to benefit speculators and institutional investors,” the coalition wrote. The letter said that while specific measures should be carefully drafted to avoid unintended consequences, the coalition identified three priority steps.

Steps includes fully close all loopholes that allow institutional investors to avoid limits on the size of their investments; ensure all energy traders, including those trading on foreign boards of trade, are subject to the limits imposed on U.S. exchanges; and increasing margin requirements and impose appropriate disclosure/financial requirements on institutional investors.

“Record-high, irrational oil prices are smothering the American economy," the coalition said. "While we all recognize that a commonsense, long-term energy policy is desperately needed in this country, given the grim statistics that are getting worse every day, Congress must find bipartisan, near-term solutions. This country needs a fair, transparent and balanced energy commodities market, not one that is skewed to benefit speculators and institutional investors.”

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