NEFI Member to Testify on Excessive Speculation before US House Panel






Sean Cota of Cota & Cota, Inc. of Bellow Falls, Vermont, a member of the New England Fuel Institute (NEFI) and its immediate past Chairman of the Board, will appear before a Congressional panel at 1:00pm EST on Tuesday, February 3, 2009 to testify on excessive speculation in the energy commodity markets and its affect on small, independent fuel delaers and their consumers.

The hearing will be streamed LIVE over the Internet (click here and then click on “Video Connection to the hearing room”).

The U.S. House Committee on Agriculture, which has jurisdiction over commodity trading legislation, is conducting the hearing to examine draft legislation entitled the “Derivatives Markets Transparency and Accountability Act.”  This new legislation aims to close several “loopholes” in federal oversight of the commodities and derivatives trading markets.  The hearing will be held in Room 1300 of the Longworth House Office Building.

Cota will use the forum to explain how excessive speculation and abusive trading practices affect independent petroleum marketers and heating fuel dealers. He will represent both NEFI and the Petroleum Marketers Association of America (PMAA) in his testimony. Sean has become a recognizable figure for championing futures market reform and has testified before Congress in recent years. He will be accompanied and supported by NEFI Vice President for Government Affairs Jim Collura (, who recently relocated to the Washington, DC area, as well as PMAA staffers Sherri Cabrera, Director of Legislative Affairs, and Rob Underwood, Manager of Congressional Relations.

Recently, Cota appeared in a 60 Minutes investigative report which showed how investor speculation, not supply and demand, caused the historic spike in oil prices in 2008.  To watch the 60 Minutes video, click here.

Here is a complete list of witnesses:

Panel I


Mr. Tom Buis, President, National Farmers Union
Mr. John Damgard, President, Futures Industry Association
Mr. Michael Greenberger, Law School Professor, University of Maryland School of Law
Mr. Michael A. Gooch, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, GFI Group Inc.
Mr. Sean Cota, President, Cota & Cota Inc., on behalf of PMAA and NEFI
Mr. Terrance A. Duffy, Executive Chairman, CME Group Inc.

Panel II

Mr. Daniel J. Roth, President and Chief Executive Officer, National Futures Association
Mr. Tyson Slocum, Director, Public Citizen’s Energy Program

(A second hearing has been scheduled for Wed., February 4th – 10:30 am but the witnesses have not yet been announced)


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