Today, Rep. K. Michael Conaway (R-TX), Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, issued the following statement regarding legislation introduced by Senator Hoeven (R-ND) and Senator Stabenow (D-MI) that ties repeal of country of origin labeling (COOL) to both the elimination of existing market driven programs and the establishment of a so-called voluntary country of origin (COOL) labeling program for beef, pork, and chicken. This new voluntary program would operate under similar rules as the program found to violate U.S. international trade rules.
Agriculture Committee Reviews Trading in Energy Markets
WASHINGTON – Yesterday, the House Agriculture Committee held a hearing to review trading in energy markets. The Committee has jurisdiction over the federal agency responsible for preventing fraud and manipulation in oil and gas futures markets.
“A growing number of people believe a flood of speculative money into energy futures is driving oil and gas prices higher and creating instability,” said Committee Chairman Collin C. Peterson. “The Agriculture Committee has legislative jurisdiction over the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and futures markets, and we intend to examine the issue of energy market trading thoughtfully and carefully next month, separating the facts from the rhetoric. I look forward to future hearings in July to examine the legislation that has been introduced and to get all points of view in order to address possible manipulation or excessive speculation in the energy markets.”
“Yesterday's hearing was an important step in addressing our nation's energy crisis,” said Committee Ranking Member Bob Goodlatte. “The Committee needs to continue to rigorously investigate the impact of futures trading on energy prices and we need to do so quickly. I believe increasing domestic supplies holds the greatest prospect for relief from high prices. America's farmers and ranchers are hit disproportionally hard by high energy cost and they need relief now."
The Committee heard testimony on trading in energy markets from Walter Lukken, CFTC’s Acting Chairman. CFTC is the chief regulator of commodity futures and options markets. The conference report on the Farm Bill, now signed into law, reauthorizes CFTC through 2013.
The opening statement of Chairman Lukken is available on the Committee website, and a full transcript of the hearing will be posted on the Committee website at a later date.
- Mr. Walter Lukken, Acting Chairman, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Washington, D.C.