CFTC-FERC turf war continues

The House Committee on Energy and Commerce’s Subcommittee on Energy and the Environment held a hearing about the potential impact on energy markets of proposed OTC derivatives regulation.

Representatives from the electric power sector said the legislation should be worded to exclude day-ahead, real-time and financial transmission rights products. At present, these markets are overseen by regional transmission organizations (RTO) or independent system operators (ISO) under tariffs approved by FERC or the Public Utility Commission of Texas for the Electric Reliability Council of Texas region.

FERC chairman Jon Wellinghoff said that any legislation should preserve FERC’s exclusive oversight of RTO/ISO rates, terms and conditions for power sales and transmission service.

“All elements of these markets are approved by FERC, incorporated into FERC-approved tariffs and monitored closely by the independent market monitors and FERC. Subjecting one or more of these to CFTC regulation could disrupt the integrated functioning of RTO/ISO markets, leading to market inefficiencies and higher energy costs for consumers,” he argued.

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