Vanderbilt Law Review

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New Approaches By the FPC to the Regulation of Natural Gas Producers: an Evaluation

Since 1954 the independent producers of natural gas have been regulated by the Federal Power Commission, operating under the Natural Gas Act' as construed by the Supreme Court in the Phillips case. The results of this regulatory activity have been frustration and delay. Recently the Commission has taken steps to relieve some of its miseries. It has instituted a new approach to producer regulation, area pricing,and it has by regulation outlawed the use of certain contract provisions, indefinite price adjustment clauses, deemed especially harmful to the public interest.

The probable practicality and legality of the area pricing plan have been discussed elsewhere. However, little attention has been given in legal literature to the important question of whether this approach is appropriate to the underlying economic problems involved in the nation's utilization of its natural gas resources. It is the purpose of this note to examine the economic consequences of both area pricing and the abolition of indefinite price adjustment clauses, drawing on the results of recent scholarship in the field of economics.

Charles E. McCallum


The problem of urban decay and blight has become increasingly recognized as a widespread national problem.' The initial federal legislation aimed at eliminating urban decay authorized capital grants to local public agencies for the acquisition and clearance of slum areas which were breeding places for crime and disease and the construction thereon of low rent public housing. The Housing Act of 19493 authorized federal aid to local projects for the acquisition and clearance of "blighted, deteriorated, or deteriorating" areas and the redevelopment of such areas by private enterprise to as large a degree as possible. State enabling acts were passed which authorized the establishment of local agencies to administer projects and the contribution of matching funds by municipalities. The courts unanimously upheld the constitutionality of the state slum clearance enabling statutes as a valid exercise of the police power pursuant to which public funds might be expended and the power of eminent domain used.

Joel Porter