Well, one top oil analyst says the price rise is not primarily due to speculation. From yesterday's New York Times
As the ninth hearing of the month gets under way on Wednesday, one of the nations best-known energy experts, Daniel Yergin, is expected to tell Congress that the focus on speculation is largely misguided.
Mr. Yergin will join numerous other energy experts who have declared that the rise in oil prices can be explained by basic economic factors, such as the limited growth in supplies in recent years, a weakening dollar, a global surge in energy demand and a string of production disruptions in countries like Nigeria.
When an issue is this hot, it would be so much easier if there was a single reason to blame, Mr. Yergin said in an interview on Tuesday, previewing his testimony before Congress.
The oil shock is real and is about the hottest political issue right now, he said. So Congress feels the pressure to do something but there is not much it can do to promote peace in Nigeria or to get the value of the dollar to go up.
Mr. Yergin is the chairman of Cambridge Energy Research Associates, a consulting firm, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Prize, an authoritative history of the oil business. He will speak on Wednesday before the Joint Economic Committee, headed by Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York.
Mr. Yergin said the market is relentlessly bidding up oil prices in response to deep-seated fears that the growth in demand will keep outpacing the growth in oil supplies in coming years.
There is a shortage psychology in the financial markets and that is reflected in the price of oil, Mr. Yergin said in the interview. You are seeing a lot of people who have never invested in commodities who are now piling into the market. But calling it speculation is way too simplistic.