NFU: House Fails to Address Commodity Market Speculation

NFU: House Fails to Address Commodity Market Speculation

Posted: Wednesday, July 30, 2008 9:08 pm

WASHINGTON (July 30, 2008) – The House of Representatives today failed to pass legislation that would provide better oversight to the commodity and energy markets. Rampant financial speculation in commodity markets is having a negative impact on rural America, preventing some agricultural producers from participating in the futures market. A broad coalition of agricultural organizations sent a letter to members of the House today, which underscored the importance of a properly functioning futures market and urged their support for the legislation. “It’s pretty clear that the markets are not functioning as they should,” National Farmers Union President Tom Buis said. “Without adequate oversight and transparency we will only continue down this slippery slope, leaving America’s family farmers and ranchers in jeopardy.” The Commodity Markets Transparency and Accountability Act of 2008 (H.R. 6604) would have required transparency and improved access; prevented excessive speculation by requiring the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) establish requirements limiting speculation; and strengthened the CFTC with legal authority and increased staffing to address oversight, surveillance and regulation. Buis said this legislation would also address concerns producers have about speculation in the energy futures markets, a particular concern for agriculture producers whose input costs are directly related to U.S. and world energy prices. “There are many reasons for high energy prices; this bill does not and cannot address all of them. However, it is a good step to addressing our concerns in the markets,” Buis said. “I urge the Senate to act quickly on similar legislation and the House to continue and work toward passing this necessary legislation.” Posted 7.30.08

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