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Obama seeks to confront oil market manipulation

5:17 AM, Apr 17, 2012   |    comments
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WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama wants Congress to strengthen federal supervision of oil markets, increase penalties for market manipulation and empower regulators to increase the amount of money energy traders must put behind their transactions.

Obama will unveil the $52 million plan Tuesday.

The White House plan is more likely to draw sharp election-year distinctions with Republicans than have an immediate effect on gasoline prices.

The measures seek to boost spending for Wall Street enforcement at a time when congressional Republicans want to limit the reach of financial regulations.

Senior administration officials said the plan aims to deter illegal manipulation by energy speculators, the type of practices many Democrats blame for the high cost of gas.

The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the plan ahead of Obama's announcement.

By JIM KUHNHENN, Associated Press Writer

The Associated Press

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