OIL & GAS: The Customer Comes First


"This ruling could be a real economic disaster for the pipeline companies." So last week said Willard W. Gatchell, general counsel for the Federal Power Commission, as the $1.8 billion-a-year natural gas pipeline industry began to feel the impact of a precedent-setting court decision. Handed down recently by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, the little publicized ruling would i) greatly curtail FPC's authority to control interstate natural gas prices, and 2) give every major gas consumer the power to block a rate increase.

The case started in 1955, when the United Gas Pipeline Co....

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