The last time was in 1980 when the CFTC ordered the suspension of futures trading for two days for wheat, corn, oats, soybean meal, and soybean oil on four exchanges after President Carter announced an embargo on grain and other agricultural exports to the Soviet Union.
Gensler told the Senate committee in March he did not believe Congress had the authority to force the CFTC to use its emergency power.
The internal study recently completed gives Gensler more power to deflect criticism that he has not done enough to curb market speculation.
Gensler's term expired last month, but the law allows for the Democrat and former Goldman Sachs executive to remain on the job through 2013 even if he is not renominated.
The CFTC in October finalized its position limits rule, included in the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial oversight law, to limit the number of contracts any trader can hold in certain commodities.
Wall Street has criticized the position limits rule, first proposed following a commodity spike in 2008, as a misguided political attempt to stem soaring prices.
The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) and the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) challenged the rule in December.
The agency says it must finish related rulemakings and collect more swaps data before the limits go into effect.