Senate Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., took to the Senate floor Thursday championing the activities of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. On Thursday, CFTC brought charges against a hedge fund for allegedly manipulating crude oil, heating oil and gasoline markets. Chambliss says that the surveillance that brought this to light could also be used for ongoing monitoring efforts to find excessive speculation.
"The Commission has recognized that more information is necessary to ensure that speculation has not become excessive and I agree with them," said Sen. Chambliss. "There have been many assertions made this week in the Senate that are not based on factual information. Many in this body have accused the CFTC of timidly utilizing their regulatory enforcement authorities or only utilizing these authorities after extreme prompting from Congress. To the contrary, this particular civil enforcement action that was filed in U.S. District Court today was uncovered as part of an investigation initiated by CFTC long before some began blaming them for $4 gasoline."
Sen. Chambliss also said the Senate should confirm the nominations of Walt Lukken, Bart Chilton, and Scott O'Malia to serve as Commissioners of the CFTC as soon as possible. Earlier this month, the Senate Agriculture Committee approved all three nominees; however the confirmation process has stalled in the Senate preventing the Commission from being fully seated.