On Tuesday, the White House laid out five ways to crack down on oil market manipulation, one of the elements it blames for high fuel prices.
Civil penalties for firms involved in market manipulation would rise to $10 million from $1 million and would be assessed for each day the manipulation occurs rather than on a per-violation basis under the new proposal.
Maximum criminal penalties would rise to $10 million as well.
The White House also asked Congress to give the Commodity Futures Trading Commission authority to require traders to have more collateral when they trade oil in an effort to reduce risky trading.
Obama is also calling for more funding to increase CFTC surveillance and enforcement staff and to improve technology.
"At a time when American consumers are feeling pain at the pump, it is critically important to ensure that illegal manipulation, fraud and market rigging are not contributing to gas price increases," the White House said in a statement.
Republicans of course completely ignored the President and sided with the oil companies, which was the point of the entire exercise. Expect yet another Senate vote soon putting Republicans on record in Big Oil's pockets, the the surprise of no one.
Bonus points if wingers are stupid enough to say "But Uppity McDark here said there was little the White House could do about $4 gas!"
Which is why has asking Congress to give the CFTC the power to do something about it, guys. Which of course the Republicans won't dare to do.