As quoted by CNN, Holder said, “Rapidly rising gasoline prices are pinching the pockets of consumers across the country. We will be vigilant in monitoring the oil and gas markets for any wrongdoing so that consumers can be confident they are not paying higher prices as a result of illegal activity.” The task force will be composed of personnel from the Justice Department, the National Association of State Attorneys General, the Energy Department, the Treasury Department and multiple financial regulatory agencies. Findings will be reported up through an existing Financial Fraud Task Force, which in turn reports directly to the attorney general.
Provided that the group finds evidence of fraud, manipulation in the oil and gas markets, or other violations of state and federal laws, the task force will have minimal impact on gasoline prices. As Holder was quick to point out, “It is also clear that there are lawful reasons for increases in gas prices, given supply and demand.” It looks like there is little benefit resulting from the Task Force for consumers in the US, which reminds me of CASE in Singapore.