Gas-price study should include imposed supply limits

01/05/2004
To expect Congress not to investigate surging prices of natural gas would be unrealistic.Traders have manipulated prices in the past. Lawmakers have reason to ask if they're doing so now.The investigation promised by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) thus differs from the inquiries that issue pointlessly from Congress whenever gasoline prices cycle upward.Yet suspicion over one piece of the market and one price move must not obscure the larger, more troublesome picture.Hatch raises a good question when he says he can't understand why gas prices rose 50% in less than a month while inventories were on the high side of their 5-year average.The question, however, has a menu of possible answer...
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