Chilton to leave the CFTC

Commodity Futures Trading Commission member Bart Chilton announced Tuesday that he is leaving the agency.

Chilton revealed his plans during a meeting of the commission to consider a set of regulations drafted in accordance with the Dodd-Frank financial reform law.

“Early this morning, I sent a letter to the President expressing my intent to leave the Agency in the near future,” he said, noting that Tuesday’s Dodd-Frank meeting would be his last.

Chilton, perhaps the CFTC’s most colorful commissioner, is known to infuse his speeches about complex derivatives policy with pop culture references. Tuesday’s remarks were no exception, as he repeatedly invoked the Etta James’ At Last to describe both his departure and the issuance of a key regulation that he helped shepherd through the rulemaking process.

Chilton linked the timing of his resignation with the commission’s expected proposal of a revamped rule designed to limit market speculation on 28 commodities, including crude oil, natural gas and gasoline.

Though required by the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, an earlier version of the rule was struck down by a federal district court, which concluded the CFTC had not sufficiently provided rationale for imposing the speculation limits.

“But today—at last—more than three years since Dodd-Frank’s passage, we are here to take it to the limits one more time,” Chilton said, apparently quoting both James and the Eagles in a single sentence. ‘

Chilton expressed confidence that the revised rule would pass legal muster.

“The Commission staff has ultimately done an admirable job of devising a proposed regulation that should be unassailable in court, good for markets and good for consumers,” he said.

President George W. Bush nominated Chilton to the CFTC, and he won Senate confirmation in 2007. In 2009, President Obama re-nominated him to the post.