"Court Rules for Hedge Funder in Challenge To FERC Futures Enforcement"

"Federal judges ruled [Friday] that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission does not have the authority to assess fines for manipulating natural gas futures markets."

"In a closely watched case that could have broad implications for the agency, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit held that hedge fund manager Brian Hunter was correct in arguing that Congress mandated the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, not FERC, to police futures trading.

'Because manipulation of natural gas futures contracts falls within the CFTC's exclusive jurisdiction and because nothing in the Energy Policy Act clearly and manifestly repeals the CFTC's exclusive jurisdiction, we grant the petition for review,' Judge David Tatel wrote for the unanimous three-judge panel.

The case dates back to 2006 trading conducted by Hunter's Amaranth Advisors LLC on the natural gas futures market of the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) that FERC said manipulated the gas prices."

Jeremy P. Jacobs and Hannah Northey report for Greenwire March 15, 2013.

Source: Greenwire, 03/18/2013