Trade groups for power companies and natural-gas suppliers are pressing the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to delay their industries’ compliance with reforms required under the 2010 Dodd-Frank law, warning that higher energy costs could result unless the leeway is provided.
Three groups, in a detailed request to the CFTC, say more time is needed to adhere to the web of new controls on sprawling derivatives trading markets, which were seen as part of the reason the financial sector destabilized ahead of the 2008 economic crisis.
“Careful and deliberate implementation is ... necessary so that uncertainty as to rules and regulations does not inadvertently disrupt the liquidity of the derivatives markets and the delivery of wholesale, non-financial commodities related to electric and gas operations, both of which could result in higher prices for consumers and commodity market participants,” states the Sept. 24 filing from the Edison Electric Institute, the American Gas Association and the Electric Power Supply Association.
The Dodd-Frank law required a series of rules such as new position limits on trading in commodity markets; new reporting and margin requirements; clearer definitions of certain types of trading and market participants; and a number of others.
A number of rules have been finalized while others are pending.
With some compliance dates looming in October, the filing notes that the groups need more time to prepare for compliance with new and “still uncertain” record-keeping requirements, determine their status under the rules and make other preparations.
The letter to the CFTC asks the regulators to defer compliance for “energy market participants” for a year after all the rules are finalized.
“The rules are so interrelated that we are asking for a period of a year after the final rule is issued so that we can have a comprehensive look at all the rules and regulations that apply to us, so that we can develop a comprehensive compliance program,” said Lopa Parikh, the director of federal regulatory affairs for the Edison Electric Institute, which represents for-profit power companies.
Energy trade groups have long expressed concern that their members using trading markets as a necessary hedge against price swings could be harmed by rules designed to prevent the kind of freewheeling, risky Wall Street trading that helped destabilize financial firms several years ago