Natural Gas Regulation

April 27, 1955

Report Outline
Federal Government and Natural Gas
Conflicts in Regulation of Gas Industry
Gas Regulation and the Public Interest

Federal Government and Natural Gas

New Effort to Bar Control of Producer Prices

Hearings before the house interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee, now drawing to a close, have set the stage for early House action on amending the Natural Gas Act of 1938 to place a statutory ban on federal regulation of prices charged for the fuel at the wellhead. Several bills introduced for that purpose aim thus to void the effects of the Supreme Court's decision last year in the Phillips Petroleum case.

The Court's decision affirmed the right of the Federal Power Commission, proceeding under the 1938 act, to fix the prices that producers charge interstate pipeline companies for the gas they transport to local distributors. Rep. Or en Harris (D-Ark.), sponsor of the principal amendatory bill, said on Mar. 2 that the proposed legislation would “make… clear that the independent producers and gatherers of natural gas and… sales [by them]…to interstate pipelines shall not be subject to the control and jurisdiction of the federal government.”

The renewal in. Congress of earlier efforts to exempt producer gas prices from control is of direct concern to millions of residential and commercial consumers over the country as well as to the several thousand owners and lessees of gas properties in the producing states. The fact that natural gas is used in some 20 million households, and that amendment of the Natural Gas Act might foreshadow price increases, was reflected in a mid-April meeting of the mayors of New York, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh to lay plans for enlisting the mayors of all large cities in a fight against the proposed legislation.

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Apr. 27, 1955  Natural Gas Regulation
Oct. 05, 1931  Development of the Natural Gas Industry
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