Federal Power Commission v. New England Power Company

PETITIONER: Federal Power Commission
RESPONDENT: New England Power Company
LOCATION: Giordano’s Residence

DOCKET NO.: 72-1162
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1972-1975)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

CITATION: 415 US 345 (1974)
ARGUED: Dec 03, 1973
DECIDED: Mar 04, 1974

ADVOCATES:
Keith A. Jones - for petitioner
Stanley M. Morley - for respondents
Thomas M. Debevoise - for respondents

Facts of the case

Question

Media for Federal Power Commission v. New England Power Company

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - December 03, 1973 in Federal Power Commission v. New England Power Company

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - March 04, 1974 in Federal Power Commission v. New England Power Company

Warren E. Burger:

Thank you Mr. Justice Brennan.

The disposition in 72-948, National Cable Television against the United States and 72-1162, Federal Power Commission against New England Power be announced by Mr. Justice Douglas.

William O. Douglas:

In these two cases, Mr. Justice Blackmun and Mr. Justice Powell take no part.

In number 948, first one, involving the CATV, a trade association, Mr. Justice Marshall has filed a dissenting opinion which Mr. Justice Brennan joins.

In the second case, Federal Power Commission versus New England Power, Mr. Justice Marshall has filed has concurred in the result in a separate opinion in which Mr. Justice Brennan joins.

These two cases involve an act passed by Congress in 1952 called the Independent Offices Appropriation Act, which authorized each federal agency to prescribe by regulation, such fee for the agencies services as determined to be fair and equitable taking into consideration the direct and indirect cost to the government for the value to the recipient, public policy of interest served in other pertinent facts.

In the first case, National Cable Television Association case, the Federal Communications Commission established a fee which was challenged in the Court of Appeals in the Fifth Circuit, and the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals sustained the Commission’s action.

In the second case, the Federal Power Commission established a so-called fee, services rendered to New England Power Company and on review that was set aside by the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

We conclude, for reasons stated in two opinions filed with clerk that these fees, set by these two commissions, did not comport with the law or out of line with the requirements of the law.

And that both agency actions must be disapproved, which results in reversing in The National Cable Television Association case and affirming in the New England Power Company case.

Warren E. Burger:

Thank you, Mr. Justice Douglas.