United Distribution Companies v. F.E.R.C., Nos. 92-1485

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
Writing for the CourtHenry S. May, Jr., Houston, TX, argued the cause for intervenors, with whom Judy M. Johnson, Clifton S. Rankin, Richard J. Kruse, Jeffrey D. Komarow, James W. McTarnaghan, Allan W. Anderson, Jr., David K. Schumacher, Frederick T. Kolb, Daniel F. Coll
Citation88 F.3d 1105
Parties, 170 P.U.R.4th 425, Util. L. Rep. P 14,111 UNITED DISTRIBUTION COMPANIES, Petitioner, v. FEDERAL ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSION, Respondent. Windward Energy & Marketing Company, et al., Intervenors. to 94-1181, 94-1183 to 94-1185, 94-1187 to 94-1190, 94-1193, 94-1194, 94-1196 to 94-1198, 94-1200, 94-1201, 94-1206, 94-1207, 94-1209, 94-1213, 94-1215, 94-1217, 94-1218, 94-1222, 94-1223, 94-1226, 94-1228, 94-1229, 94-1231 to 94-1234, 94-1236 to 94-1243, 94-1246 to 94-1249, 94-1252, 94-1256 to 94-1259, 94-1263 to 94-1265, 94-1267 and 94-1270.
Decision Date29 October 1996
Docket Number94-1173,92-1495,92-1496,Nos. 92-1485,94-1171

Page 1105

88 F.3d 1105
319 U.S.App.D.C. 42, 170 P.U.R.4th 425,
Util. L. Rep. P 14,111
UNITED DISTRIBUTION COMPANIES, Petitioner,
v.
FEDERAL ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSION, Respondent.
Windward Energy & Marketing Company, et al., Intervenors.
Nos. 92-1485, 92-1495, 92-1496, 94-1171, 94-1173 to 94-1181,
94-1183 to 94-1185, 94-1187 to 94-1190, 94-1193, 94-1194,
94-1196 to 94-1198, 94-1200, 94-1201, 94-1206, 94-1207,
94-1209, 94-1213, 94-1215, 94-1217, 94-1218, 94-1222,
94-1223, 94-1226, 94-1228, 94-1229, 94-1231 to 94-1234,
94-1236 to 94-1243, 94-1246 to 94-1249, 94-1252, 94-1256 to
94-1259, 94-1263 to 94-1265, 94-1267 and 94-1270.
United States Court of Appeals,
District of Columbia Circuit.
Argued Feb. 21, 1996.
Decided July 16, 1996.
As Amended Oct. 29, 1996.

Page 1118

[319 U.S.App.D.C. 55] On Petitions for Review of Orders of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Frederick Moring, Washington, DC, Roy R. Robertson, Jr., Chicago, IL, Michael W. Hall, O. Julia Weller, Washington, DC, Roberta L. Halladay, Washington, DC, Daniel F. Collins, Washington, DC, Robert T. Hall, III, New York City, Harvey L. Reiter, Washington, DC, Lee A. Alexander, Washington, DC, Edward J. Grenier, Jr., Washington, DC, Charles F. Wheatley, Jr., John P.

Page 1119

[319 U.S.App.D.C. 56] Gregg, John T. Miller, David W. D'Alessandro, Washington, DC, Denise C. Goulet, Harrisburg, PA, and Philip M. Marston, Alexandria, VA, argued the causes for petitioners, with whom Dana C. Contratto, John E. Holtzinger, Jr., Kevin M. Downey, Kenneth T. Maloney, William I. Harkaway, Donald K. Dankner, Frederick J. Killion, Jeffrey L. Futter, Stephen L. Huntoon, Douglas M. Canter, Mary E. Baluss, Kristine L. Delkus, Christopher J. Barr, John K. Keane, Jr., Telemac N. Chryssikos, James K. Mitchell, Paul K. Sandness, Kevin J. Lipson, Scott Silverstein, Janice A. Alperin, Christine R. Pembroke, Kenneth M. Simon, Mitchell F. Hertz, Randolph Q. McManus, William L. Slover, Donald G. Avery, Andrew B. Kolesar, III, Laurence E. Skinner, William I. Harkaway, Michael W. Hall, William H. Penniman, Glen S. Howard, Sterling H. Smith, Gail S. Gilman, Thomas E. Hirsch, III, David K. Schumacher, Frederic G. Berner, Jr., Nancy Y. Gorman, Debra L. Raggio Bolton, Susan N. Kelly, William T. Miller, Elisabeth R. Myers-Kerbal, Glenn W. Letham, Steven M. Sherman, Don C. Uthus, Timothy P. Ingram, Richard A. Rapp, Jr., Jennifer N. Waters, Kelly A. Daly, Edward W. O'Neill, Harvey Y. Morris, Theresa V. Czarski, Paula M. Carmody, Diane Munns, Lawrence F. Barth, Veronica A. Smith, John F. Povilaitis, Harold L. Stoller, Jr., Penny G. Baker, Helene S. Wallenstein, Thomas B. Nicholson, Charles D. Gray, Robert S. Tongren, Margaret Ann Samuels, Jospeh P. Serio, Yvonne Ranft, Deborah Y. VanDervort, Robert J. Mussallem, Darrell S. Townsley, Ellen M. Averett, Richard A. Solomon, Robert K. Johnson, William H. Smith, Jr. and Kim M. Clark were on the briefs. Jack M. Wilhelm, Robin M. Nuschler, Douglas J. Law, Kathleen L. Mazure, Phillip G. Lookadoo, Toni M. Fine, John T. Stough, Jr., Robert I. White, Jacolyn A. Simmons, Kent D. Murphy, Marc Richter, Richard A. Rapp, Jr., Don S. Smith, Steven A. Weiler, Paul W. Fox, Kevin J. McIntyre, Scott S. Ives, Donald C. Shepler, Jr., James Howard, Robert S. Hall, Jr., James F. Bowe, Jr., Steven H. Lasher, Donald G. Avery, David C. Dickey, Robert F. Shapiro, Jack M. Irion, Philip B. Malter, Harold L. Talisman, Jeanne M. Bennett and Robert H. Benna entered appearances.

Jerome M. Feit, Solicitor, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC, Joseph S. Davies, Deputy Solicitor, Bethesda, MD, and Susan J. Court, Special Counsel, Washington, DC, argued the causes for respondent, with whom Timm L. Abendroth, Eric L. Christensen, Randolph L. Elliott, Edward S. Geldermann and Janet K. Jones, Attorneys, were on the brief. Thomas J. Lane and Jill Hall, Attorneys, entered appearances.

Henry S. May, Jr., Houston, TX, argued the cause for intervenors, with whom Judy M. Johnson, Clifton S. Rankin, Richard J. Kruse, Jeffrey D. Komarow, James W. McTarnaghan, Allan W. Anderson, Jr., David K. Schumacher, Frederick T. Kolb, Daniel F. Collins, Janice A. Alperin, Christine R. Pembroke, Michael W. Hall, Michael J. Manning, Kenneth R. Carretta, James P. White, William T. Miller, John P. Gregg, Elisabeth R. Myers-Kerbal, Emery J. Biro, III, Norma J. Rosner, David G. Stevenson, Bruce A. Connell, MaryJane Reynolds, Leslie J. Lawner, Jane E. Wilson, Joseph R. Hartsoe, R. Brent Harshman, Richard C. Green, Douglas W. Rasch, John H. Cheatham, III, Bud J. Becker, O. Julia Weller, Paul F. O'Konski, Marge O'Connor, Kenneth E. Randolph, Jeffrey G. DiSciullo, Edward J. Grenier, Jr., William H. Penniman, Glen S. Howard, Sterling H. Smith, Charles F. Wheatley, Jr., Don C. Uthus, Timothy P. Ingram, Paul Korman, Paul W. Mallory, Charles L. Pain, Kathleen T. Puckett, James J. Cleary, R. David Hendrickson, Patrick P. Pope, Ralph J. Pearson, Jr., Linda L. Geoghegan, Marilyn L. Doria, Blaine Yamagata and James Denvir were on the brief. Donald C. Shepler, Jr., James F. Bowe, Jr., Jean E. Sonneman, Kenneth T. Maloney, Gordon Gooch, J. Stephen Martin, Katherine B. Edwards, Mario M. Garza, Mark R. Haskell, J. Paul Douglas, Luke A. Mickum, Leslie J. Lawner, Deborah A. Macdonald, Sherrie N. Rutherford, Clifton D. Harris, Jr., Frederick W. Giroux, Mark D. Foss, Marge O'Connor, James K. Morse, Kevin M. Sweeney, James P. White, Michael J. Manning, Charles J. McClees, Michael A. Kelly, F. Nan Todd Wagoner, Janice H. Parker, Andrew N. Greene, Elisabeth Y. Pendley, Emmitt C. House, Georgetta J. Baker,

Page 1120

[319 U.S.App.D.C. 57] Paul E. Goldstein, Frank X. Kelly, Maria K. Pavlou, Steve Stojic, Merlin E. Remmenga, David B. Ward, Robert Baker and G. Mark Cook entered appearances.

Appearances were also filed by Carl M. Fink, Howard E. Shapiro, James C. Moffatt, Jennifer B. Corwin, Robert A. Nuernberg, Ronald D. Eastman, Oleta J. Harden, Barbara K. Heffernan, Cheryl L. Jones, Tom Rattray, Gearold L. Knowles, Margaret Ann Samuels, David C. Dickey, Thomas E. Hirsch, III, Britton White, Jr., James D. Senger, James J. Flood, Joel F. Zipp, Leja D. Courter, Ronald E. Christian, James C. Moffatt, Shippen Howe, John R. Staffier, Robert A. Nelson, Timothy C. Bladek, Andrew N. Greene, Edward B. Myers, Carolyn Y. Thompson, Kenneth D. Brown, Frank R. Lindh, Keith T. Sampson, Raymond N. Shibley, Cheryl J. Walker, Thomas J. Eastment, Michael L. Pate, Barbara S. Jost, Michael E. Small, Robin M. Nuschler, John C. Walley, Gary E. Guy, Stephen J. Small, Susan D. McAndrew, Timothy N. Black, David W. Anderson, David L. Huard, David J. Evans, George H. Rothschild, Jr., Charles H. Shoneman, Randall S. Rich, Joel L. Greene, Joseph M. Oliver, Jr., M. Lisanne Crowley, Mark C. Darrell, John B. Chapman, John K. McDonald, Richard E. Powers, Jr., Sylvia P. McCormack, Jeffrey M. Petrash, Phillip G. Lookadoo, J. Neises, S.D. Holbrook, James D. McKinney, Jr., John J. Wallbillich, Joshua L. Menter, Jack P. Grimaldi, J.D. Steelman, Jr., Nicholas W. Fels, Anthony J. Ivancovich, Rebecca S. Haney, John S. Grube, Stuart W. Conrad, Robert B. Langstaff, Michael J. Gianunzio, David W. Rubadue, Marilyn A. Specht, Paul W. Fox, Bruce F. Kiely, Mark K. Lewis, Jack M. Wilhelm, Michael R. Waller, Mark C. Moench, Paul M. Flynn, Frederick J. Killion, Michael Thompson, Wade H. Hargrove, Jr., Donald W. McCoy, Bruce Henderson, Kris L. Terry, Joseph M. Marcoux, Elizabeth A. Ward, Philip F. Cronin, Jr., Stephen L. Huntoon, Nancy J. Skancke, Timothy A. Beverick, Kenton L. Erwin, Scott P. Klurfeld, David B. Robinson, Anita T. Gallucci, Michael P. May, Daniel J. Guttman, Jr., William Bingham, James H. Holt, Don P. Garber, Floyd L. Norton, IV, Dennis D. Ahlers, David I. Bloom, Thomas M. Patrick, John M. Hopper, Jr., Mary A. Walker, Joseph E. Mixon, Nancy J. Skancke, Cecil W. Talley and Arthur L. Smith.

Before: WALD, SENTELLE and ROGERS, Circuit Judges.

Opinion for the Court filed PER CURIAM. *

[319 U.S.App.D.C. 58]

Page 1121

PER CURIAM:

I. Introduction

In Order No. 636, 1 the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ("Commission" or

Page 1122

"FERC") took the latest step in its decade-long restructuring of the natural gas industry, in which the Commission has gradually withdrawn from direct regulation of certain [319 U.S.App.D.C. 59] industry sectors in favor of a policy of "light-handed regulation" when market forces make that possible. We review briefly the regulatory background for natural gas.

A. Background: Natural Gas Industry Structure

The natural gas industry is functionally separated into production, transportation, and distribution. Traditionally, before the move to open-access transportation, a producer extracted the gas and sold it at the wellhead to a pipeline company. The pipeline company then transported the gas through high-pressure pipelines and re-sold it to a local distribution company (LDC). The LDC in turn distributed the gas through its local mains to residential and industrial users. See generally EDWARD C. GALLICK, COMPETITION IN THE NATURAL GAS INDUSTRY 9-12 (1993).

The Natural Gas Act (NGA), ch. 556, 52 Stat. 821 (1938) (codified as amended at 15 U.S.C. §§ 717-717w (1994)), enacted in 1938, gave the Commission jurisdiction over sales for resale in interstate commerce and over the interstate transportation of gas, but left the regulation of local distribution to the states. 2 NGA § 1(b), 15 U.S.C. § 717(b). The NGA was intended to fill the regulatory gap left by a series of Supreme Court decisions that interpreted the dormant Commerce Clause to preclude state regulation of interstate transportation and of wholesale gas sales. See Arkansas Elec. Coop. Corp. v. Arkansas Pub. Serv. Comm'n, 461 U.S. 375, 377-80, 103 S.Ct. 1905, 1908-10, 76 L.Ed.2d 1 (1983). The overriding purpose of the NGA is " 'to protect consumers against exploitation at the hands of natural gas companies.' " FPC v. Louisiana Power & Light Co., ...

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    • Federal Register October 13, 2005
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    ...requirements of the rule. See Motor and Equip. Mfrs. Ass'n v. Nichols, 142 F.3d 449 (D.C. Cir. 1998); United Distribution Cos. v. FERC, 88 F.3d 1105, 1170 (D.C. Cir. 1996); Mid-Tex Elec. Co-op, Inc. v. FERC, 773 F.2d 327, 342 (D.C. Cir. 1985) (agency's certification need only consider the r......
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    ...includes storage, exchange, backhaul, displacement, or other methods of transportation." 55. United Distribution Cos. v. F.E.R.C., 88 F.3d 1105, 1122 (D.C. Cir. 56. Order No. 436, Regulation of Natural Gas Pipelines After Partial Wellhead Decontrol, [Regs. Preambles 1982-85] F.E.R.C. Stats.......
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