The US Senate unanimously confirmed the appointments of three
nominees to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission on October
Commissioners Bart Chilton and Jill Sommers were reappointed
for another term, while Scott O’Malia has been
chosen to replace former acting CFTC chairman Walt Lukken.
O’Malia was nominated in September to fill the
vacant Republican post at the CFTC, after Lukken’s
resignation in June. He is now at NYSE Euronext.
All three commissioners told a Senate Agriculture Committee
hearing that they supported the plan by President Barack Obama
for more central counterparty clearing of over-the-counter
The CFTC has five commissioners, of which no more than three
may be from the same political party. O’Malia is
the second Republican commissioner alongside Sommers.
Chilton will serve until April 13 2013, and Sommers until a
year after that. O’Malia’s term
expires on April 13 2015.
The commissioners will work alongside CFTC chairman, Gary
Gensler, who was confirmed in the job in May, and commissioner
Michael Dunn, who has worked at the US regulator since June
2006. Dunn’s term expires in June 2011.
Sommers joined the CFTC in April 2004 and Chilton in March
O’Malia will leave his post as minority clerk
for the Senate Appropriations Committee’s energy
and water subcommittee to join the CFTC. He previously worked
for former Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee
chairman Pete Domenici as a senior policy adviser on oil, coal
and gas issues. From 1992 until 2001 he was a senior
legislative assistant to Senator Mitch McConnell.
The admission of O’Malia to the CFTC is a case
of 'second time lucky’. He was nominated by
President George W Bush but his appointment, alongside those of
two fellow nominees including then-acting CFTC chairman Lukken
was blocked by Senator Maria Cantwell, who blamed the CFTC for
failing to crack down on excessive energy speculation.
"Continued inaction by the CFTC to bring the light of day to
unregulated markets is unacceptable," Cantwell said in
September 2008. "By not properly policing the oil markets, the
CFTC is turning a blind eye to artificial volatility. They may
be the only group in America that believes all is well in the
CME Group welcomed the three commissioners’
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