Home > 2010 Energy Conference > Session 6
EIA Conference 2010
Session 6: Regulating Energy Commodities
Moderator: Steve Harvey, EIA

Daniel M. Berkovitz, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission
Sean Cota, Cota & Cota
Skip Horvath, Natural Gas Supply Association
Deanna L. Newcomb, McDermott Will & Emery LLP

  Moderator and Speaker Biographies
Steve Harvey, EIA

Stephen Harvey has been a career member of the SES since 2002 with experience in high-profile public management, public sector operations, and consulting relating to electric and natural gas markets, regulation and enforcement as well as expertise in executive-level leadership and technological innovation.  Mr. Harvey is currently the director of the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s Office of Oil and Gas, and is responsible for the collection, analysis, and dissemination of information on petroleum and natural gas.

Mr. Harvey began his career in the energy industry at the Interstate Natural Gas Association where he served as an analyst. He was then employed at Enron Corporation, where he held positions of increasing responsibility, and rose to the position of Vice President, Physical Risk Management, Enron Capital and Trade Resources.

In 1993, Mr. Harvey was named President at NJR Energy, where he restructured the company's oil and gas production subsidiaries and negotiated a multi-million dollar limited partnership investment in a technologically sophisticated natural gas storage program with four other energy company investors. In 1995, as part owner of Gem Energy Consulting, Mr. Harvey signed and managed a major consulting contract with annual revenues of over $2 million for a startup energy consulting firm specializing in management and strategy.

From 1997 to 2001, Mr. Harvey served as Senior Vice President at Columbia Energy Services. In 2001 he joined Exolink Corporation as Vice President, Operations where he successfully managed the operations and development efforts of an energy-related information technology startup company that handled customer service and accounting transactions between energy marketers and multiple state retail electric and natural gas markets.

Since 2002, Mr. Harvey has served as Director of Energy Market Oversight, in the Office of Enforcement at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). He has spent the last five years managing FERC's natural gas and electricity market monitoring and analysis efforts. Mr. Harvey received a B.S. in Physics and Political Science from Guilford College and an M.P.P. from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Daniel M. Berkovitz, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission

Dan Michael Berkovitz is General Counsel of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Prior to joining the CFTC in June 2009, Mr. Berkovitz was Counsel to the United States Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. Serving under Senator Carl Levin, he led several major investigations into energy markets and prices, including the role of financial speculation in natural gas and crude oil prices; the effect of the U.S. Department of Energy’s program to fill the Strategic Petroleum Reserve on oil prices and energy security; and the effect of increasing concentration in the gasoline refining industry on retail gasoline prices. He was one of the lead staffers during Congress’s consideration and passage of legislation in the 2008 Farm Bill to regulate the electronic trading of energy commodities.

From 1995-2001, Mr. Berkovitz served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Planning, Policy, and Budget in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Environmental Management program. In this position he was responsible for formulating and presenting to Congress the Department’s $6 billion annual budget for the clean-up of nuclear and hazardous wastes generated by the production of nuclear weapons. He has authored a number of law review and trade journal articles on the regulation of nuclear energy and wastes.

Mr. Berkovitz graduated cum laude with an A.B. in Physics from Princeton University in 1978, and received a J.D. from University of California, Hastings College of Law in 1982. He resides in Bethesda, Maryland, with his wife, Michelle, and two children, Zoe and Eli.

Sean Cota, Cota & Cota

Sean Cota, President of Cota & Cota, Inc., has more than 30 years of experience in the heating fuels industry, serving the last 14 years as President of one of the most successful fuel marketing businesses in Vermont and New Hampshire. Mr. Cota is a highly regarded professional with a reputation for actively defending the heating oil industry's interests in the Northeast.  Serving as Member of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission Member of the Energy and Environment Markets Advisory Committee representing Heating Oil, and Gasoline and Diesel Retailers, Past President for the New England Fuel Institute (NEFI), Vice Chairman for the Petroleum Marketers Association of America (PMAA), and a board director and First Vice Chair of the National Oilheat Research Alliance (NORA) and National Association For Oilheat Research and Education (NAORE),  Mr. Cota has in-depth experience  of the industry and  working with other industry professionals  in the identification and development of strategic priorities.

Mr. Cota has often been quoted in the media, including CNBC, MSNBC, Bloomberg News, The Financial Times, Reuters, ABC News, OPIS, Oil Heat Magazine, Fuel Oil News, Oil Heating, Oil & Energy, and appeared in a front-page article of the Wall Street Journal on the heating oil industry.  Mr. Cota has also testified as a friendly witness in the U.S. Senate three times, the U.S. House of Representatives twice, and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission three times with a focus on Energy Market Transparency. 

Mr. Cota is a graduate of Wilkes University where he received a Bachelor of Science in Business with a concentration in Marketing. 


Skip Horvath, Natural Gas Supply Association

R. Skip Horvath is President and CEO of the Natural Gas Supply Association (NGSA), representing major integrated and independent natural gas producers in the United States. As the head of NGSA, Mr. Horvath focuses on ways to make the entire natural gas industry work more efficiently. After working on the space shuttle for NASA, and then completing his military service, he joined the Rand Corporation to work on national defense and energy issues. From there he joined the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA) where he eventually became the Chief Operating Officer.

Mr. Horvath holds an undergraduate degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame and a M.P.P. from the University of California at Berkeley. He lives in Falls Church, Virginia with his wife, Cathy Campbell, and his three children.

Deanna L. Newcomb, McDermott Will & Emery LLP

Deanna L. Newcomb is a regulatory and compliance analyst in the law firm of McDermott Will & Emery LLP and is based in the firm’s Houston office.  Ms. Newcomb advises clients in connection with energy and commodity trading regulatory compliance matters, government investigations and regulatory audits.  She develops and implements commodity trading compliance programs by drafting manuals and conducting training for trading groups, including front office traders and schedulers, as well as mid-office and back office personnel.  Ms. Newcomb also conducts internal investigations for clients that have been subpoenaed by or asked to produce information to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), particularly in investigations of alleged market manipulation and false price reporting.  She also assists in representing clients in FERC and North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) audits.

Ms. Newcomb has more than 18 years of experience in the commodity and energy industry, including compliance, risk management, finance/accounting, information technology, forecasting and budgeting in wholesale energy marketing. Prior to McDermott, Ms. Newcomb worked for a leading global commodities trading firm as head of its compliance program.  In this role, she oversaw FERC and NERC audits and CFTC data requests.  Ms. Newcomb has also served as the compliance director for a major Texas electricity provider.

Ms. Newcomb is a founding member of the Energy Compliance Network, and a member of the Futures Industry Association and the Greater Houston Business Ethics Roundtable.