PROCESS GAS CONSUMERS GROUP v. CONSUMER ENERGY COUNCIL
Annotate this Case
463 U.S. 1216 (1983)
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U.S. Supreme Court
PROCESS GAS CONSUMERS GROUP v. CONSUMER ENERGY COUNCIL , 463 U.S. 1216 (1983)
463 U.S. 1216
PROCESS GAS CONSUMERS GROUP, et al., appellants, v. CONSUMER ENERGY COUNCIL OF AMERICA et al
INTERSTATE NATURAL GAS ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA, et al., appellants, v. CONSUMER ENERGY COUNCIL OF AMERICA et al
PETROCHEMICAL ENERGY GROUP, appellant, v. CONSUMER ENERGY COUNCIL OF AMERICA et al
AMERICAN GAS ASSOCIATION, appellant, v. CONSUMER ENERGY COUNCIL OF AMERICA et al
UNITED STATES SENATE, petitioner, v. CONSUMER ENERGY COUNCIL OF AMERICA et al
UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, petitioner, v. CONSUMER ENERGY COUNCIL OF AMERICA et al
UNITED STATES SENATE, appellant, v. FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION et al
UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, appellant, v. FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION et al
No. 81-2020 No. 81-2008 No. 81-2151 No. 81-2171 No. 82-177 No. 82-209 No. 82- 935 No. 82-1044
Supreme Court of the United States July 6, 1983 Rehearing Denied Sept. 8, 1983. See U.S..
Justice WHITE, dissenting.
The principal issue in these cases is the constitutionality of the legislative veto as applied to agency rulemaking. Given the Court's recent decision in Immigration and Naturalization Service v. Chadha,462 U.S. 919 ___ (1983), the summary affirmance of the Court of Appeals' decisions striking the veto as unconstitutional is hardly surprising. These cases illustrate the constitutional myopia of the Chadha reasoning as applied to independent regulatory agencies and cast further light on the destructiveness of the Chadha holding.
In Process Gas Consumers v. Consumer Energy Council of America, the Court of Appeals invalidated the one-house legislative veto provision of the Natural Gas Policy Act of 1978 (NGPA), contained in 202(c) of the Act. 15 U.S.C. 3342(c) (1976 and Supp. IV). The NGPA was a response to the need for financial incentives to encourage the production of natural gas for the interstate market. The Act was a compromise, reached only after months of impasse between the two Houses over the optimal means of deregulating natural gas prices while preventing excessive fuel bills for consumers and industry. Congress finally settled on a phased deregulation of natural gas prices, with a system of incremental pricing to ease the transition. Specifically, the compromise agreed to by the Conference Committee provided for an initial experiment with incremental pricing for a small class of industrial users, while authorizing the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to propose expansion of incremental pricing to other industrial users at a later time. This proposal would be submitted to Congress and would become effective unless disapproved by either House. The veto provision was central to this accommodation, because it allowed the Congress to observe the effects of the initial phase of incremental pricing without committing the nation to a broader program which, it was feared, would drive industrial gas users to oil, [463 U.S. 1216 , 1218]