OIL & GAS: Clearing the FPC Pipes

OIL & GAS

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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