Federal Power Commission v. Moss

PETITIONER: Federal Power Commission
RESPONDENT: Moss
LOCATION: The Pud Bar

DOCKET NO.: 74-883
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1975-1981)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

CITATION: 424 US 494 (1976)
ARGUED: Dec 03, 1975
DECIDED: Mar 03, 1976

ADVOCATES:
Mark L. Evans - for petitioner
Morton L. Simons - for respondents

Facts of the case

Question

Media for Federal Power Commission v. Moss

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - December 03, 1975 in Federal Power Commission v. Moss

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - March 03, 1976 in Federal Power Commission v. Moss

Warren E. Burger:

Mr. Justice Brennan will announce the judgment and opinion of the Court in Federal Power Commission against Moss.

William J. Brennan, Jr.:

This case is here from the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

It involves a recently promulgated order of the Federal Power Commission establishing an optional procedure for certificating new producer sales of natural gas, adopted by the Commission to stimulate domestic exploration and development of new natural gas reserves.

Among another provisions, this order authorizes the Federal Power Commission when certificating new gas production to authorize the producer to abandon the sale at the end of the contract term.

In other words, it’s a pregranted abandonment authorization under which the producer, when the contract expires, is free to discontinue deliveries to the original purchaser without having to demonstrate at the end of the contract term of that abandonment comports with the public convenience or necessity.

The Court of Appeals held that that provision was without the authority of the Federal Power Commission to provide.

We disagree.

For reasons expressed in an opinion filed with the Court, we hold that the Federal Power Commission properly can’t determined at the time of certification, and the present or future public convenience or necessity justifies the issuance of the certificate allowing discontinuance of service at a future date without need for further proceedings.

The Chief Justice has filed an opinion concurring in the judgment; Mr. Justice Stewart, Mr. Justice Powell, and Mr. Justice Stevens took no part in the consideration or decision of the case.

Warren E. Burger:

Thank you Mr. Justice Brennan.