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A 'Suspicious Spike'

Natural gas prices under scrutiny by APPA

The American Public Power Association—in a February letter to Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chairman Rostin Behnam—has called for a CFTC investigation into trading activity that led to a dramatic natural gas futures contract price increase on January 27, 2022.

In the letter, APPA President and CEO Joy Ditto specifically asks the CFTC to closely examine activity “to determine whether any market participants engaged in manipulation or other unlawful conduct.”

The late-January price spike for the February 2022 natural gas futures contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) led to sharp increases in commodity prices—and as a result—impacts to public power utilities that could have to pay either higher fuel prices for gas-fired electric generation or higher costs for gas-fired wholesale electricity.

“This is the second time in a year that not-for-profit, public power utilities have been squeezed by extraordinary natural gas price spikes,” said APPA President & CEO Joy Ditto. “And—unfortunately—it’s our bill-paying customers who are ultimately on the hook for these costs.”

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