OIL & GAS: Clearing the FPC Pipes


Six years ago the U.S. Supreme Court gave the Federal Power Commission new authority that the regulatory agency did not want. The court ruled, in connection with a rate case involving Phillips Petroleum Co., the biggest independent U.S. producer of natural gas, that FPC must set rates in intrastate as well as interstate natural-gas markets. The decision broadened the FPC's job to include setting rates for some 3,000 independent natural-gas producers (i.e., producers with wells but no interstate pipelines).

As a result, the independents flooded the FPC with requests for rate decisions and put in interim rates on their...

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