Public Statements & Remarks

Statement of Chairman Timothy Massad on Proposed Guidance on Certain Natural Gas and Electric Power Contracts

April 4, 2016

Today, the CFTC and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), have jointly proposed guidance relating to the appropriate treatment of certain peaking supply and capacity contracts. We are issuing this guidance after considering the useful input we have received from market participants expressing concern about this issue. I support this proposal, as it will properly clarify the treatment of contracts used by many businesses with respect to the supply and delivery of electric power and natural gas.

We have proposed that certain electric power and natural gas contracts should not be considered “swaps” under the Commodity Exchange Act. We have done so because we believe they are examples of customary commercial arrangements as described in the final rule defining the term “swap.”

For example, these contracts are entered into to assure availability of a commodity, not to hedge against risks arising from a future change in price of that commodity or for speculative, or investment purposes. They are typically entered into in response to regulatory requirements, the need to maintain reliable energy supplies, and practical considerations of storage or transport. All of these factors are consistent with what has been set forth in previous commission guidance.

Today’s proposed guidance is an important complement to our final rule regarding Trade Options, which will reduce burdens on end-users and allow them to better address commercial risk. I thank my fellow Commissioners Bowen and Giancarlo for joining me in unanimously approving this proposal as well as that final rule.

Last Updated: April 4, 2016