CORP. COMMISSION OF OKLAHOMA v. FEDERAL POWER COMMISSION
415 U.S. 961 (1974)

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U.S. Supreme Court

CORP. COMMISSION OF OKLAHOMA v. FEDERAL POWER COMMISSION , 415 U.S. 961 (1974)

415 U.S. 961

The CORPORATION COMMISSION OF The State of OKLAHOMA et al.
v.
FEDERAL POWER COMMISSION et al.
No. 73-729.

Supreme Court of the United States

March 18, 1974

The judgement is affirmed.

Mr. Justice REHNQUIST, with whom Mr. Justice STEWART and Mr. Justice POWELL join, dissenting.

    'There was a young lady from Niger

Who smiled as she rode on a tiger.

They returned from the ride

With the lady inside,

And the smile on the face of the tiger.'

Page 415 U.S. 961 , 962

When Congress enacted the Natural Gas Act in 1938, the state regulatory agencies were among its strongest supporters. [Footnote 1] For, without supplanting any of the existing authority of the state agencies, the Act was intended to provide a powerful regulatory partner, the Federal Power Commission, which could regulate activities where the state bodies could not. As the Senate Report on the bill stated:

    'The bill takes no authority from state commissions, and is so drawn as to complement and in no manner usurp state regulatory authority, and contains provisions for cooperative action with state regulatory bodies.'2

Yet the Court today affirms a holding of the District Court which permits the Federal Power Commission to sue the Oklahoma Corporation Commission and enjoin the enforcement of those state agency orders which the court finds violate either the Natural Gas Act or the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution. After this decision, the state regulatory agencies must surely feel a special kinship with the young lady from Niger. [415 U.S. 961 , 963]


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