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The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) voted Tuesday to impose new restrictions on speculative trading in energy futures markets. The rules, required under last year’s Dodd-Frank law, are aimed at reigning in speculative Wall Street trading that some allege has driven up oil prices and worsened market volatility in recent years.

The rules impose “position limits” on the amount of futures and swaps contracts for oil and other commodities that traders hold. The rule sets limits on contracts for oil, natural gas and other energy contracts, as well as some agricultural and metals contracts.

The five-person CFTC includes Democrats Bart Chilton, Chairman Gary Gensler, Michael Dunn, and Republicans Jill Sommers and Scott O’Malia opposed it. The rule was approved along party lines.

The rule sets federally enforced limits, for the first time ever, on the amount of concentration anyone may control in energies and metals. (The Hill, 10/18/2011)