On Wednesday, the House Agriculture Committee held a hearing to review legislative proposals to amend the Commodity Exchange Act. The hearing was the first of three scheduled hearings this week to review CEA legislation and featured estimony from congressmen who have sponsored bills affecting commodity futures trading.

"As the price of oil continues to set records, several bills have been introduced that would affect the regulation of the futures markets that trade crude oil and other commodity contracts," said Chairman Collin Peterson of Minnesota. "I appreciate the members of Congress who answered questions today about the bills they have sponsored addressing speculation in commodity futures markets. As the committee with jurisdiction over regulation of these markets, we will examine all of the legislative proposals so that we may develop a bipartisan, consensus bill that can move to the House floor before the August recess."

"This hearing was an important step in looking at the factors that fall under this committee's jurisdiction that might contribute to increased energy prices," said Committee Ranking Republican Bob Goodlatte of Virginia. "We had the opportunity to ask various legislators to defend their proposals, and throughout the week we'll be hearing from others affected by market fluctuations and that will likely give us a clearer picture of the futures market role in accurate price discovery."

Committee review of legislative proposals to amend the CEA will continue today, with several panels of stakeholder groups invited to testify.

Congressional oversight of commodity futures trading is under the jurisdiction of the House Agriculture Committee, which Peterson chairs. The Farm Bill, which was enacted over the President's veto, re-authorizes the chief regulator of these markets, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, through 2013.

The opening statements of the witnesses are available on the committee Web site. A full transcript of the hearing will be posted at a later date.

Source: The U.S. House Committee on Agriculture