Reuters reports that "oil traders are past masters at handicapping geo-political risks, from war in the Middle East to resource nationalists in Latin America. Lately, they face another confounding political landscape: Washington."
As a bounty of shale oil transforms the trading landscape across North America, U.S. policymakers are being confronted with a host of issues that hold immediate and material implications to energy companies, investors and traders."
"While energy policy has typically moved at a steady, stately pace for much of the past few decades, Washington is now grappling with a host of pressing questions that will affect oil prices: easing a crude oil export ban that could raise domestic crude prices; adjusting ethanol quotas in order to curb gasoline rates; imposing new rules on tank car safety that could slow the nascent oil-rail boom."
"These issues are coming to the fore amid wider policy shifts under President Barack Obama that have forced oil traders to pay closer attention to what's going on in Washington, a place many find hard to pierce."