By Pat Stacey
Unbelievably and almost unexplainably, gas prices continue to rise towards record levels. And there is no real reason for it, only speculation on the part of futures traders. Now most of us are ignorant on the way futures trading works but rest assured you are feeling the effects of it. Futures traders are making the assumption that the unrest in the Middle East will affect supplies later this year. And through that threat, prices immediately react. The President has pledged to combat any abuses in the system but he really can't try to manage the system. Some in Congress and the administration are suggesting that we tap into the Strategic Petroleum Reserves of oil to lighten the load and put investors at ease. But the most effective way to lessen the dependence on events in the Middle East would be to increase our domestic exploration. For the past year, the Obama administration has effectively placed a moratorium on drilling offshore and the move has crippled our country's ability to supplement the oil we import, which would ultimately allay the fears of investors. Congress needs to move now to force the administration to relax regulations on new domestic exploration. This move would also create jobs and selfishly would really help the east Texas economy but it is the right thing to do, and it would make for Better East Texas.