The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Phone: (202) 588-1000

Public Citizen Urges Strong Regulations Over Energy and Carbon Emissions Markets to Protect Households From Unfair Prices

At Energy and Environmental Advisory Committee, Program Director Tyson Slocum Will Advocate Reining in Financial Speculators


Tyson Slocum, director of Public Citizen's Energy Program, today
begins his service to the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission's
Energy and Environmental Markets Advisory Committee. In this capacity,
Public Citizen will be providing advice to federal regulators on how
best to regulate energy commodity markets and emerging carbon emission
markets as part of proposed cap and trade climate legislation.

The 33-member committee, which will address carbon and emissions
trading, is an expansion of an existing committee, which was focused
exclusively on energy markets. As Congress considers the creation of a
new, trillion-dollar carbon derivatives market as part of climate
legislation, Public Citizen's participation as the lone public interest
consumer advocate will be to ensure that strong regulations are
implemented in futures markets to protect households from harmful

"Deregulation and lack of transparency in commodity markets have
been disastrous for households trying to make ends meet. Markets that
are fully transparent and overseen by strong, well-funded regulators
help limit the harmful role of financial speculators and ensure that
prices are fair," Slocum said.

Stronger regulations over energy and emission trading markets would
reduce the level of speculation and limit the ability of Wall Street
investment banks and hedge funds to engage in anti-competitive behavior
that contributed to the record-high energy prices Americans have faced.

With the goals of creating the ideal regulatory framework for energy
markets and creating a model for the cap and trade carbon market
proposed in Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Edward Markey's (D-Mass.)
climate change bill, Public Citizen's seat at the table will help
ensure consumer interests are represented in a forum historically
controlled by Wall Street speculators and polluting industries.

"Public Citizen will use this appointment to ensure that the
Commodity Futures Trading Commission hears from consumers about the
need for strong regulations and consumer protections for energy and
environmental markets," said Sidney Wolfe, M.D., acting Public Citizen

In February, Slocum testified before the U.S. House Committee on
Agriculture about the need for Congress to restore transparency to the
futures market, where energy prices are set. Slocum's proposed reforms
include fully regulating the over-the-counter derivative market.

READ Slocum's February testimony.

Public Citizen is a nonprofit consumer advocacy organization that champions the public interest in the halls of power. We defend democracy, resist corporate power and work to ensure that government works for the people - not for big corporations. Founded in 1971, we now have 500,000 members and supporters throughout the country.

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