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FERC, CFTC sign agreements on jurisdiction, information sharing


From the January 6, 2014 issue of Public Power Daily

Originally published January 6, 2014

By Robert Varela
Editorial Director
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) have signed two memoranda of understanding to address overlapping jurisdiction and to share information in connection with market surveillance and investigations into potential market manipulation, fraud or abuse. Although the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act required the agencies to sign the memoranda by January 2011, they had disagreed to the point that the CFTC went to court to assert exclusive jurisdiction over energy futures. 

The memoranda "allow the agencies to promote effective and efficient regulation to protect energy market competitors and consumers," they said in a Jan. 2 joint release.

The jurisdiction agreement sets out a process under which the agencies will notify each other of activities that may involve overlapping jurisdiction and coordinate to address their regulatory concerns. The information-sharing memorandum establishes procedures through which the agencies "will share information of mutual interest related to their respective market surveillance and investigative responsibilities, while maintaining confidentiality and data protection." CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler and FERC Acting Chair Cheryl LaFleur also agreed that the agencies will work together to share appropriate data relating to financial markets for gas and electricity on an ongoing basis. 

"These memoranda will further strengthen FERC’s ability to perform its market oversight and enforcement responsibilities," said LaFleur. "As FERC’s role in overseeing the competitive energy markets has grown since the passage of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, our need to coordinate with the CFTC is increasingly important." 

"I’m so pleased that, with Acting Chairman LaFleur, our two agencies have been able to enter into these memoranda of understanding," Gensler said. "These memoranda will help lead to better protection of the nation’s energy markets and increase cooperation between the agencies." 

The agencies said they have been operating under a 2005 memorandum that allowed them to exchange information related to oversight or investigations. 
 

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Senior Vice President, Publishing 
Jeanne Wickline LaBella
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Robert Varela
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