CFTC names Chilton head of energy committee

He replaces fellow commissioner Walter Lukken, who has headed the committee since its establishment in February 2008. Lukken was also acting chairman of the regulator until he stepped down in January. Acting chairman Michael Dunn said Chilton and the committee would be investigating the role of speculation in driving energy prices and the regulation of carbon futures.

The CFTC set up the committee, which consists of 25 representatives of major investment banks, energy producers and consumers, after a reported surge in energy market manipulation: during the 2002-2007 bull market, the US energy markets saw an "all-time high" of market manipulation, false reporting and trading violations, the CFTC reported in October 2007.

Also this week, the regulator revealed it would step up efforts to control speculative distortions in the soft commodity markets, by founding a new subcommittee on convergence. Last month, the CFTC acted to limit non-commercial holdings of delivery instruments in several grains listed on the Chicago Board of Trade, in an attempt to stop speculators inflating the price of grain futures, harming commercial futures buyers and distorting the market.

Dunn said the committee would hold at least three hearings by the end of June this year to examine "continuing problems with lack of convergence and weak basis" in the agricultural markets.

See also: CFTC names temporary chief
Lukken calls for regulatory overhaul as he prepares to step down
CFTC dismisses speculation speculation
CFTC acts to shut out grain futures speculators
CFTC: record levels of crime in energy markets

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