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The Political Economy of PipelinesA Century of Comparative Institutional Development$
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Jeff D. Makholm

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780226502106

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226502120.001.0001

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Transacting with Private Carriage: The Gas Pipeline Regulations of 1938

Transacting with Private Carriage: The Gas Pipeline Regulations of 1938

(p.118) Chapter Seven Transacting with Private Carriage: The Gas Pipeline Regulations of 1938
The Political Economy of Pipelines
University of Chicago Press

This chapter describes how the cumulative victories by groups of gas distributors resulted in the series of conditions that made possible the defining, safeguarding, and trading of property rights. Gas pipeline transport transformed over the course of sixty-five years into an industry that shows true Coasian bargaining in transport entitlements and supports the world's only vigorously competitive and openly transparent gas market with an equally vigorous futures market. The Natural Gas Act of 1938 was an unusual piece of legislation that came about in response to pressure from the states and gas-consuming city coalitions. Phillips Petroleum attempted to argue that only pipeline regulation was the subject of the Natural Gas Act. The end of conflict between shippers and pipeline owners signaled a transformation of the regulator's prime job. In 2000, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) resolved the last outstanding issues, and the competitive pipeline transport market took off.

Keywords:   gas distributors, property rights, gas pipeline transport, Coasian bargaining, Natural Gas Act, Phillips Petroleum, FERC

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