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Panhandle Eastern Pipe Line Co. v. FPC, 324 U.S. 635 (1945)

Panhandle Eastern Pipe Line Co. v. Federal Power Commission

No. 296

Argued January 29, 1945

Decided April 2, 1945

324 U.S. 635


1. Under § 19(b) of the Natural Gas Act, providing for review of orders of the Commission by the circuit courts of appeals, an objection that the natural gas company is not located and does not have its principal place of business in the circuit in which the proceeding was brought goes not to the jurisdiction but only to the venue, and is too late when raised for the first time after judgment. P. 324 U. S. 638.

2. In the exceptional circumstances of this case, the Federal Power Commission, in determining reductions in interstate wholesale rates of a natural gas company whose business consisted of direct industrial sales (unregulated) as well as interstate wholesales (regulated),

Page 324 U. S. 636

did not exceed the limits of its discretion when it allocated to the regulated business all excess earnings of the entire business over 6 1/2 percent. P. 324 U. S. 646.

3. It was not error for the Commission to construct a natural gas company's rate base on the actual legitimate cost of the company's property, or to include in the rate base the company's producing properties and gathering facilities. Canadian River Gas Co. v. Federal Power Comm'n, ante p. 324 U. S. 581. P. 324 U. S. 648.

4. Having failed to object in its application for rehearing before the Commission to the inclusion of its producing properties and gathering facilities in the rate base, petitioner is precluded by § 19(b) of the Act from attacking the order of the Commission on the ground that they are included. P. 324 U. S. 649.

5. Since the issue in a rate case under the Natural Gas Act is whether the rate fixed is "just and reasonable," the question on review is not the method of valuation, but the end result obtained. P. 324 U. S. 649.

6. Upon the undisputed facts of this case, the Court cannot say that the rate of return allowed by the Commission is not commensurate with the risks, that confidence in the company's financial integrity has been impaired, or that the company's ability to attract capital, to maintain its credit, and to operate successfully and efficiently has been impeded. Federal Power Comm'n v. Hope Natural Gas Co., 320 U. S. 591. P. 324 U. S. 650.

143 F.2d 488 affirmed.

Certiorari, 323 U.S. 808, to review the affirmance of an order of the Federal Power Commission under the Natural Gas Act.

Page 324 U. S. 637

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