Regarding speculators.This accusation is a little simplistic. I could justify this argument just by pointed out that talk radio (both ends of the spectrum) and media agree that speculators are the problem. Are there speculators? Yes. Oil is a commodity that is traded, by definition that means there are speculators.
But I think a more important root cause of high energy prices (setting aside supply and demand) is the weak dollar. The weaker the dollar, the more dollars required to purchase a barrel of oil. If you have a charting service, do a comparative graph of the dollar vs oil for the past two years. The two move away from each other at an almost consistent pace.
Why is the dollar weak? Bernancke has had to lower interest rates the avert the banking crisis caused by years of deregulation in the banking industry. In other words, one reason oil prices are high is because of poor GOP policies.
As an FYI, the Fed is an independent organization from either political party. You are correct that a weak dollar is part of the problem related to price.
Sorry. Didn't make it clear enough. Wasn't referring to the Fed, was referring to deregulation in the banking industry as the example of poor GOP policies.