NGFA supports Behnam’s nomination to chair the CFTC 

NGFA this week urged senators to approve the nomination of Rostin Behnam to serve as chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

In an Oct. 25 letter to leaders of the Senate Agriculture Committee, NGFA and 18 other agriculture groups noted that Behnam “has the experience and background that make him exceptionally qualified” to serve in the role.

Behnam joined the CFTC in 2017 and since January 2021 has served as the acting chairman. In 2019, Behnam spearheaded the establishment of the CFTC’s Market Risk Advisory Committee’s Climate Related Market Risk Subcommittee. Behnam previously served as senior counsel to Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee.

“We also commend Mr. Behnam for the considerable amount of time and effort he has devoted to further his understanding of the agriculture sector and its use of the derivatives markets since he has been on the Commission,” the letter noted. 

During a Senate Agriculture Committee hearing to consider his nomination on Oct. 27, Behnam answered questions about CFTC’s role in regulating a carbon credit market. 
“We’re creating a financial market where credits are going to be bought and sold, and it’s important to have a market that has integrity, that has transparency, and that’s free from fraud and manipulation,” Behnam said. “If you can create that, then the outcome of what you’re trying to accomplish – sequestering carbon and getting money to producers and ranchers, farmers, and foresters pockets – will be accomplished.”

The Senate passed a bill in June -- The Growing Climate Solutions Act -- that would establish a voluntary Greenhouse Gas Technical Assistance Provider and Third-Party Verifier Certification Program to help reduce entry barriers into carbon credit markets for farmers, ranchers, and private forest landowners. The bill is pending in the House.