FPC v. East Ohio Gas Co. - 338 U.S. 464 (1950)


U.S. Supreme Court

FPC v. East Ohio Gas Co., 338 U.S. 464 (1950)

Federal Power Commission v. East Ohio Gas Co.

No. 71

Argued November 10, 1949

Decided January 9, 1950

338 U.S. 464

Syllabus

Respondent owns and operates a natural gas business wholly within Ohio, selling gas only to Ohio consumers. Most of this gas is transported into Ohio from other states through interstate pipelines, owned by other companies, which connect inside Ohio with respondent's large high pressure lines in which the gas, propelled mainly by its own pressure, flows continuously more than 100 miles to respondent's local distribution systems.

Held:

1. Respondent is a "natural gas company" subject to the jurisdiction of the Federal Power Commission under the Natural Gas Act. Pp. 338 U. S. 467-474.

(a) The continuous flow of gas from other states to and through respondent's high pressure lines constitutes interstate transportation. Pp. 338 U. S. 467-468.

(b) The word "transportation" in § 1(b) of the Act is not limited to companies which both transport natural gas in interstate commerce and sell it for resale; it applies to the movement of interstate gas in respondent's high pressure pipelines, even though respondent sells gas direct to consumers, rather than for resale. Pp. 338 U. S. 468-469, 338 U. S. 471-474.

(c) Respondent is not exempt from the Act on the ground that all its facilities come within the proviso in § 1(b) making the Act inapplicable "to the local distribution of natural gas or to the facilities used for such distribution," since this was not intended to exempt high pressure pipelines transporting interstate gas to local mains. Pp. 338 U. S. 469-471.

(d) Neither the language of the Act nor its legislative history indicates that Congress meant to create an exception for every company that transports interstate gas in only one state, even when the company is fully subject to state regulation and sells gas direct to consumers, rather than for resale. Pp. 338 U. S. 471-474.

2. The order of the Federal Power Commission requiring respondent to keep accounts and submit reports as required under the Act is not so burdensome as to exceed constitutional or statutory limitations. Pp. 338 U. S. 474-475.

Page 338 U. S. 465

3. The Commission's order did not violate any rights reserved to the states under the Tenth Amendment. P. 338 U. S. 476.

84 U.S.App.D.C. 312, 173 F.2d 429, reversed.

The Federal Power Commission found that respondent was a natural gas company subject to its jurisdiction, and ordered respondent to keep accounts and submit reports as required by the Natural Gas Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 717 et seq. 74 P.U.R.(N.S.) 256. The Court of Appeals reversed on the ground that respondent was not "engaged in the transportation of gas in interstate commerce within the meaning of the Act." 84 U.S.App.D.C. 312, 173 F.2d 429. This Court granted certiorari. 337 U.S. 937. Reversed, p. 338 U. S. 476.

Page 338 U. S. 466



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