Business & Finance: Free Columbia

When the natural gas boom of 1930-31 subsided, Columbia Gas & Electric Corp. had become allied with the Morgan-Bonbright-Drexel utilities, had (through an affiliate) connected its 29,000-mi. Midwest system with the Texas Panhandle. That year (1931) it earned $22,331,000. The next year it formed a joint company with the Rockefellers to develop gas fields in north central Pennsylvania and western New York. But Columbia Gas had bank loans of $43,500,000, mostly the result of its expansion. The demand for natural gas had already fallen off when Columbia's President Philip Green Gossler set out...

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