Congress: Oil futures tax on speculators?

"Commercials" would be exempt, Oregon Rep says

DC.StreetsBlog.org. More than a month after he first proposed the idea, Rep. Pete DeFazio (OR) -- along with 29 fellow Democrats -- has introduced legislation that would levy a small tax on oil futures trades in order to close the yawning gap in the federal transportation budget.

DeFazio's bill would set the tax at 0.2 percent for every oil futures contract and 0.5 percent for every option on a futures contract, which he has projected would raise nearly $200 billion for transportation over the next six years.

The prospect of reining in the Wild West world of oil speculators, whom lawmakers and heads of state of all stripes have blamed for creating furious spikes in gas prices, is an irresistible one for many members of Congress.

But DeFazio's bill sets broad exemptions from the tax for businesses that rely on "commercial" oil futures trades to guard against economic downturns or oil price fluctuations more

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