Speculators are like the ants in Aesop’s “Ants and the Grasshopper” fable: They save resources for lean times. Everyone benefits because everyone has a chance to buy from them in those lean times.
Speculators don’t “artificially jack up the price of oil” — they take risks. Those who guess wrong lose a lot of money.
Historically, speculators have been convenient scapegoats, and they have suffered greatly for it. So have the rest of us.
While government should never create political opportunities for speculation, it should also stop interfering with its legitimate economic function.
We all are harmed when central planners take charge.