Obama's plan this time calls on Congress to:
— Increase six-fold the surveillance and enforcement staff of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to better deter oil market manipulation.
— Increase spending on technology to provide better oversight and surveillance of energy markets.
— Increase civil and criminal penalties against firms that engage in market manipulation from $1 million to $10 million.
— Give the Commodity Futures Trading Commission authority to increase the amount of money that a trader must put up to back a trading position. The administration officials said such authority could help limit disruptions in energy markets.
The White House effort comes as Republicans have talked of limiting the reach of a financial regulation overhaul that Congress passed in 2010 over their objections. Though the House Republican budget, which calls for sharp reductions in government programs, does not specify reduction in spending by the trading commission, the administration officials said that if the cuts were applied the commission would lose more than five times what it spends on regulating energy markets.
The debate will pit Republicans who blame high gasoline prices on Obama who, in turn, blames Republicans for coddling Wall Street.
Associated Press writer Alan Fram contributed to this report.
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