Who is Manipulating Oil and Gas Prices Now?

It seems like only yesterday that Congress and all manner of people who are ignorant of basic economics were bashing oil and gas companies for their supposed efforts to manipulate prices and keep them high. Now, with the global economy on the skids, crude prices are plummeting right along with the stock market and are likely to keep dropping.
So, the question must be asked: where are the speculators and manipulators? If Exxon has an iron lock grip on the prices it charges for its product, why aren’t they keeping them high or at least stabilizing them? The simple fact in is that they don’t control prices; they are “price takers.”
While the information above is simple economics, the more interesting issue is how the collapse in oil and gas prices will impact New Mexico’s budget and economy. Months ago I wrote about the impact lower oil and gas revenues could have on New Mexico. It would appear that the chickens are coming home to roost.