The American Trucking Associations joined 18 transportation-related organizations last week in sending a letter to congressional leadership urging immediate reforms to the energy commodities market to stop surging oil prices and prevent further decline in the U.S. economy.

In a letter sent to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), the group outlined recommended reforms that include: closing all loopholes that allow institutional investors to avoid limits on the size of their investments; ensuring all energy traders are subject to limits imposed on U.S. exchanges; and increasing margin requirements and imposing appropriate disclosure and financial requirements on institutional investors.

"This country needs a fair, transparent and balanced energy commodities market, not one that is skewed to benefit speculators and institutional investors," the organizations said in the letter. Leading energy experts across the country have said that recent, unprecedented jumps in crude oil prices are due, in large measure, to rampant speculation in the energy commodities markets.

A copy of the letter can be found at: