Release: #4599-02
For Release: January 29, 2001

CFTC Chairman Newsome Testifies Before Senate Energy Committee

Washington, D.C. – James E. Newsome, recently confirmed Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), testified today before the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. At the request of Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman, Chairman Newsome detailed the CFTC’s role and responsibilities in overseeing the trading in energy futures and option markets under its jurisdiction.

Chairman Newsome also detailed the Commission’s response to the Enron situation for the Committee. Because Enron was a large trader of energy-based contracts traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the Commission closely monitored Enron’s on-exchange positions so that the winding down of these positions was accomplished quickly and smoothly.

In closing, Chairman Newsome, referencing the Commodity Futures Modernization Act (CFMA), told the Committee... “Tailoring regulations to the nature of the participant, the product, and the facility on which it is traded seemed, in my view, to be appropriate concepts on which to define a federal regulatory interest. To date, I have seen no evidence to the contrary. However, the Commission will continue to monitor the markets within our jurisdiction, and we will continue to utilize all authorities given to us by the Congress to aggressively pursue Commodity Exchange Act violations.”

Attached is a copy of Chairman Newsome’s oral testimony. For a copy of the Chairman’s written testimony, please go to the Commission’s Internet Website: or call the Commission’s Office of Public Affairs: (202) 418-5080.