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CFTC obligations and compliance to be discussed at Legal Seminar


From the July 19, 2013 issue of Public Power Daily

Originally published July 19, 2013

By LeAnne Nienhuis
Education and Customer Programs Manager
Attendees at the 2013 APPA Legal Seminar will have an opportunity to learn about Commodity Futures Trading Commission obligations and compliance at an in-depth preconference workshop on Sunday, Oct. 20.

The workshop, "Now What? CFTC Obligations and Compliance in the Age of Swaps," will explore the effect of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act on the energy markets generally, and on public power utility energy purchase and hedging operations.

The program will begin with a discussion of how and why Congress found it necessary to increase CFTC oversight over various types of traders and transactions in the energy industry. This discussion will include the development of the CFTC’s new rules and why the CFTC now regulates certain transactions.

Next, presenters will address how to identify whether a utility’s transactions are swaps subject to CFTC regulation, and distinguishing among swaps, physical forward transactions and trade options. They will explain key exemptions and outline compliance basics for regulated transactions. This will include reporting and recordkeeping requirements, and the obligations and burdens that go with the "special entity" status conferred on government-owned utilities.

Finally, the program will address enforcement issues and jurisdictional tensions between the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the CFTC. The discussion will include analysis of the March 2013 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in Hunter v. FERC

Workshop speakers will be Dan Berkovitz, former general counsel for the CFTC; Debbie Swanstrom of Jennings, Strouss & Salmon, PLC; Lisa Dowden and  Melissa Birchard of Spiegel & McDiarmid LLP; and Peter Scanlon of Duncan, Weinberg, Genzer & Pembroke, PC. 

The Legal Seminar will be held Oct. 20-23 at the Renaissance Seattle Hotel in Seattle, Wash. In addition to this workshop, Legal Seminar attendees will also have an opportunity to attend an in-depth workshop on pole attachment issues. 

Visit www.publicpower.org/LegalSeminar for the complete conference program and to register.

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