This is in response to Sen. Susan Collins’ article (May 25) “Speculators are trading against country’s future.”

Crude prices have increased from $95 per barrel to $135 per barrel in the last six months. That’s 42 percent higher in just six months. Why?

We are not driving 42 percent more miles than six months ago. Thermostats are not set 42 percent higher than six months ago. Demand has not significantly increased.

Speculators have artificially driven up the price of future shipments of oil by “betting” that the oil contract they bought today will bring more cash when the shipment comes due. The difference in the original price and cash price is profit to the speculators.

These speculators are not even in the oil business. They have no intention of ever receiving a shipment of oil. They work in an office somewhere and buy and sell contracts.

If any other type of energy, say, electricity, were to increase that way, there would be an outrage. The PUC would intervene and rightfully so.

There is no need of it.

What has happened to our free market concept of supply and demand? It has been superceded by greed and profiteering.

Where is the government?

We are paying 42 percent more than six months ago. What is to stop the speculators from driving the price up another 42 percent? Why wouldn’t they? It’s pure profit.

We are in a national crisis. We are being gouged.

When will it stop?

Sen. Collins must do something.

Jeff Meehan, Otisfield

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