Congressman Peter DeFazio on Thursday proposed legislation he says would lower the price of gas by 80 cents right away.
The 4th District Democrat announced that he has introduced H.R. 2003, which would enact a tax on trading in oil futures.
In a statement from Washington, he said it would "target Wall Street speculators that are responsible for unnecessarily inflating the price of gas up to 80 cents a gallon."
He said the bill immediately would penalize speculative market manipulation, bringing relief at the pump right away.
"This Memorial Day weekend, families all across America are digging deep to pay $60 for a fill-up at the gas station. And $12 of that $60 will go to speculators on Wall Street," DeFazio said.
A decade ago, Congress passed a law that allows Wall Street speculators to enter the energy futures markets, according to DeFazio.
Today up to 70 percent of oil trading is done by speculators who are allowed to bet on oil prices even though they are not oil users.
"All of this speculating by Wall Street bankers substantially drives up the price Americans pay at the pump," he said.
H.R. 2003 would deter speculation by charging a 0.01 percent tax on each transaction.
This would make excessive speculation too expensive and risky, according to DeFazio.
He said the bill was part of a plan offered by the Populist Caucus. In addition to H.R. 2003, DeFazio supports efforts to put additional pressure on speculators by releasing oil from the strategic petroleum reserve. He also supports efforts to end subsidies for oil companies.