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WASHINGTON -- During the annual NATSO (National Association of Truck Stop Operators) Day here yesterday, truck stop and travel plaza operators across the nation asked members of Congress to take action to help lower fuel prices, TheTrucker.com reported.
More than 50 travel plaza, truck stop and allied industry representatives met face-to-face with lawmakers and staffs in more than 150 congressional offices, according to the report.
One of the topics addressed during NATSO Day was the record energy prices due to commodity trading. More than $1.5 trillion is traded daily through the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX), and more than one million contracts daily are being made through electronic exchanges, known as "over-the-counter" exchanges. These OTC exchanges are not subject to the same recordkeeping requirements by the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) as the NYMEX, according to the report, which cited NATSO.
"Because of this lack of oversight, the opportunity for market manipulation (leading to further price volatility) is high," NATSO stated, adding "NATSO members will ask Congress to approve adequate funding for CFTC oversight."
Another topic addressed during NATSO Day was the impact of interchange fees on truckstop operators.
NATSO members "will be asking congress to restore fairness to the credit card fee negotiating process by supporting and co-sponsoring H.R. 5546, The Credit Card Fair Fee Act," the association stated. "The legislation provides a transparent, open market solution to the ongoing problem of interchange fees, and simply provides merchants with the proper leverage to negotiate fair fees that accurately reflect the real cost of a credit card transaction."
In related news, Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, along with other House democrats, asked the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate record-high gasoline prices, and whether they are being manipulated, MarketWatch reported.
"Recent price volatility and investor speculation in the oil market require the diligent oversight Congress called for, especially when oil prices break records daily, hitting $119 per barrel this week," wrote Pelosi and six other top Democrats in a letter to FTC Chairman William Kovacic, according to the report.
She continued: "The FTC must no longer delay action on implementing the mandate from Congress to stop market manipulation as American families and businesses struggle to deal with record gas prices."