WASHINGTON, Dec. 17, 2013—The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced Monday that Commissioner Mark Wetjen will serve as acting chairman when current Chairman Gary Gensler leaves the agency at the end of the year.

President Barack Obama nominated Assistant Treasury Secretary Timothy Massad to serve as CFTC Chairman last month, but a confirmation hearing still needs to take place in the Senate.

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D.N.D., a member of both the Senate Agriculture and Banking Committees, said she met with Massad recently to talk about how CFTC policies will impact farmers and North Dakota energy businesses that buy commodities.

According to her press release, Heitkamp asked Massad, if confirmed, to keep agriculture producers in mind when approving regulations, as the CFTC is responsible for protecting farmers from bad bets in the financial markets.

“The CFTC must make sure the regulations they pursue do not impact the livelihoods of the hardworking farmers and ranchers in North Dakota,” said Heitkamp. “At the same time, the CFTC must also make sure that farmers and other businesses are protected from bad faith financial actors that jeopardize their ability to make plans to sell crops. I stressed the importance of striking this balance, and I’ll continue to push for strong yet workable protections.”


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