Business: Freeing the Rates

To the natural-gas industry, the news was so cheery that it sent gas stocks up as much as 5¼ points. In a 5-3 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the year-old "Memphis case'' ruling of a lower court, thus allowing gas companies to return to their longtime practice of raising rates while waiting for the Federal Power Commission to approve them—subject to refund if the request is turned down. The Memphis case, which was won by the city of Memphis against the United Gas Pipeline Co., was opposed by the FPC as well as the gas industry. It required companies to...

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