You're giving them too much credit. Any Joe with a ScottTrade account can buy a share of ETF DIG. That person is now a speculator. If they buy ETF DUG they're a shorter. In addition, these things tend to create feeding frenzies with exaggerated highs and lows. Supply and demand will raise the price eventually. The spigot will not run dry at $2 / gallon. Prices will rise as supplies tighten.