Grid Operators Ask for CFTC Assurances

On Feb. 23, a council of grid organizations asked the Commodity Futures Exchange Commission for assurances that the Southwest Power Pool and other grid organizations, including PJM, will remain exempt from certain provisions of the Commodity Exchange Act.

The Independent System Operators and Regional Transmission Organizations Council, or IRC, asked for these assurances in a letter filed yesterday.

SPP had previously requested an exemption under the Commodity Exchange Act which introduces, for the first time, the prospect that participants in ISO markets could face private lawsuits for alleged manipulation.

The Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act recognized that RTO and ISO products and transactions are unique. Provisions in the Commodity Exchange Act, applied to ISOs and RTOs, could result in overlapping jurisdiction by both the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the CFTC.

The IRC submitted its statement to the CFTC with concerns that the commission’s decision could adversely impact SPP’s market and establish precedents with implications for the other RTOs and ISOs that have previously granted commission exemptions.