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Panhandle Pipe Line Co. v. Public Service Comm'n, 332 U.S. 507 (1947)

Panhandle Eastern Pipe Line Co. v.

Public Service Commission of Indiana

No. 69

Argued November 14, 17, 1947

Decided December 15, 1947

332 U.S. 507


1. Sales of imported natural gas by an interstate pipeline carrier direct to industrial consumers are sales in interstate commerce, even though the gas leaves the main transmission line within the state and is piped to the consumers through branch lines or laterals at reduced pressure. Pp. 332 U. S. 512-513.

2. In view of the position of the state commission as construed by the state supreme court, the orders of the commission, directing immediately only the filing of information, constituted an assertion of power to regulate appellant's rates and service under the state's comprehensive scheme of regulation, and appellant was not required to await a further regulatory order before contesting the commission's jurisdiction. P. 332 U. S. 511.

3. In the light of the legislative history, provisions, and policy of the Natural Gas Act, and of the judicial history leading to its enactment, sales of natural gas by an interstate pipeline carrier direct to industrial consumers, although in interstate commerce, are subject to regulation by the states. Pp. 332 U. S. 513-524.

Page 332 U. S. 508

4. By the Natural Gas Act, Congress did not occupy the entire field open to federal regulation of the transportation and sale of natural gas in interstate commerce, but extended federal regulation only to that area which this Court previously had held the states could not reach. Pp. 332 U. S. 516-519.

5. It is unnecessary in this case to consider the effect of the Commerce Clause of the Federal Constitution independently of the effect of the Natural Gas Act as here construed. P. 332 U. S. 524.

224 Ind. 662, 71 N.E.2d 117, affirmed.

Orders of a state commission requiring a pipeline company to file tariffs, regulations, reports, etc., were vacated and enjoined by a state court. The Supreme Court of the State reversed. 224 Ind. 662, 71 N.E.2d 117. On appeal to this Court, affirmed, p. 332 U. S. 524.

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