Appeals court shows support for gas pipeline deregulation

April 5, 2002 — The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington upheld most of the aspects of the deregulation of the nation’s natural gas pipeline market.

The appeals court on Friday rejected claims that an experimental deregulation of gas pipelines by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) went too far or not far enough, Dow Jones Newswires reported.

Gas prices surged in late 2000 and early 2001 shortly after FERC began the 2.5-year trial period in order 637. The order temporarily suspended FERC’s regulation of prices for short-term capacity allocations on interstate gas pipelines.

Despite the fact that gas prices caused a runaway electricity price crisis in California and neighboring states, the appeals court ruled that FERC had taken adequate precautions to prevent abuses.

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