Oil companies are owned by shareholders - folks that have invested their money to make a profit ... shareholders include retired folks, widows and orphans, trust funds, mutual funds, ME, maybe you, etc. Take away the profit potential or be really stupid and nationalize the oil industry and that will be just the beginning of sorrows ... ever heard of Pemex? ...or the USPS? And the speculators .... they balance the market. Do you think they all come to work someday and decide to start speculating? They do it every day. The only time you hear about it is when the price gets too high (subjective). The price is high for some pretty obvious reasons - turmoil in the middle east, Obama attacking the oil companies, threats to raise taxes, restricted drilling permits, etc. So, the more uncertainty you remove from the market, the less volatile will be the pricing. None of this is New information ... and the dilemma isn't going to change until USA comes up with a decent energy policy that isn't tied to politics and we get rid of the phony guy on TV everyday telling us how much he cares.