Julia Sullivan Comments on Growth of Transmission-Rights Markets

Julia Sullivan, co-head of Akin Gump’s energy regulation, markets and enforcement practice, is quoted in the Bloomberg News article “Traders Lured to Bet on Power Overloads Worth Billions,” which looks at the growing popularity of the transmission-rights markets.

The rights, as the article points out, are wagers on where power lines may overload forcing higher-cost electricity to be substituted. They came about nearly two decades ago with the regulation of the U.S. power markets as a way for utilities to hedge against the limits of the regional grids.

Sullivan says there has been a “pretty steady drumbeat of clients” interested in joining the markets. She notes that under the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, “if you are a swap dealer or a major swap participant you are subject to extensive regulation, and there are thresholds for how much swap activity will trigger those requirements.” Transmission rights trading, she adds, would not count toward those thresholds.