Release: #4741-03
For Release: January 22, 2003

FERC, CFTC Announce Joint Conference on “Credit Issues in the Energy Markets: Clearing & Other Solutions.”

Washington, D.C. – The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) will hold a joint technical conference on Wednesday, February 5, 2003, to explore, among a number of possible solutions, the feasibility of utilizing clearing to address, in a meaningful fashion, the credit issues that exist in today’s energy markets.

The one-day conference, “Credit Issues in the Energy Markets: Clearing and other Solutions”, will be held at FERC headquarters, 888 First Street, N.E., Washington, D.C., in the Commission Meeting Room from 9:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. All interested parties are invited to attend and there is no registration fee for this conference.

The conference will focus on credit and related liquidity issues presently affecting energy market participants and will examine possible solutions, including the utilization of CFTC-regulated clearing facilities. FERC Chairman, Pat Wood III and CFTC Chairman James Newsome are scheduled to make opening remarks. A distinguished panel of experts representing credit analysts, clearing organizations registered with the CFTC, and energy market participants (see attachment) will discuss the issues in depth.

“I am pleased that the Commission can facilitate discussion of the potential benefits of a clearing function in certain energy markets,” said CFTC Chairman James Newsome. “We are committed to working with other federal agencies to encourage exploration of developments that may enhance market integrity and protect market participants.”

“We’re delighted that the CFTC is joining us in sponsoring this conference addressing an important problem affecting today’s competitive energy markets,” FERC Chairman Pat Wood III said. “Together we can help identify procedures to improve energy markets. Making markets work more efficiently helps ensure customers benefit from competition.”

For more information about this conference, please contact Anne Marie Kelly, CFTC: (202) 418-5431, R. David Gary, CFTC: (202) 418-5085, or Bryan Lee, FERC: (202) 502-8680.

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