Airlines urge Congress to curb oil speculators

Northwest CEO Doug Steenland
Doug Steenland, president and CEO of Northwest Airlines.
Chris Hondros/Getty Images

Northwest Airlines CEO Doug Steenland today will urge Congress to crack down on oil speculators. Steenland will testify before a House energy subcommittee hearing this morning.

Northwest and other airlines are struggling to deal with soaring fuel costs. Jet fuel costs about four times what it did back in 2002.

Northwest spokeswoman Tammy Lee says market demands can't account for such a tremendous price hike.

"Prices today do not reflect a sharp increase in demand. So if it's not a supply-demand issue, the likely cause, or the cause that most people have identified, is oil speculators that are causing the market to have this whipsaw effect, and unfortunately, it's stayed at the very high end of that whipsaw," Lee said.

Lee says Steenland will call for further oversight of oil speculators to bring the cost down not only for airlines, but also for consumers.

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