« ForrigeFortsett »
provision of this Act or any rule, regulation, or order thereunder, or to aid in the enforcement of the provisions of this Act or in prescribing rules or regulations thereunder or in obtaining information to serve as a basis for recommending further legislation concerning the matters to which this Act relates. The Commission may permit any person to file with it a statement in writing under oath or otherwise, as it shall determine, as to any or all facts and circumstances concerning a matter which may be the subject of investigation. The Commission, in its discretion, may publish or make available to State commissions information concerning any such subject.
(b) For the purpose of any investigation or any other proceeding under this Act, any member of the Commission may subpena witnesses, compel their attendance, take evidence, and require the production of any books, papers, correspondence, memoranda, contracts, agreements, or other records which the Commission finds relevant or material to the inquiry; and any Commissioner or any examiner or officer designated by the Commission may administer oaths and affirmations and receive evidence. Such attendance of witnesses and the production of any such records may be required from any place in the United States and at any designated place of hearing. Witnesses summoned by the Commission to appear before it shall be paid the same fees and mileage that are paid witnesses in the courts of the United States.
(c) In case of contumacy by, or refusal to obey a subpena issued to, any person, the Commission may invoke the aid of any court of the United States within the jurisdiction of which such investigation or proceeding is carried on, or where such person resides or carries on business, in requiring the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of books, papers, correspondence, memoranda, contracts, agreements, and other records. Such court may issue an order requiring such person to appear before the Commission or member or examiner or officer designated by the Commission, there to produce records, if so ordered, or to give testimony touching the matter under investigation or in question; and any failure to obey such order of the court is punishable by such court as a contempt thereof. All process in any such case may be served in the judicial district whereof such person is an inhabitant or wherever he may be found or may be doing business. Any person who willfully shall fail or refuse to attend and testify or to answer any lawful inquiry or to produce books, papers, correspondence, memoranda, contracts, agreements, or other records, if in his power so to do, in obedience to the subpena of the Commission, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be subject to a fine of not more than $1,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than one year, or both.
(d) The testimony of any witness may be taken, at the instance of a party, in any proceeding or investigation pending before the Commission, by deposition at any time after the proceeding is at issue. The Commission may also order testimony to be taken by deposition in an proceeding or investigation pending before it, at any stage of such proceeding or investigation. Such depositions may be taken before any person authorized to administer oaths not being of counsel or attorney to either of the parties, nor interested in the proceeding or investigation. Reasonable notice shall first be given in writing by the party or his attorney proposing to take such deposition to the opposite party or his attorney of record, as either may be nearest, which notice shall state the name of the witness and the time and place of the taking of his deposition. Any person may be compelled to appear and give his deposition, and to produce documentary evidence, in the same manner as witnesses may be compelled to appear and testify and produce documentary evidence before the Commission, as hereinbefore provided. Such testimony shall be reduced to writing by the person taking the deposition, or under his direction, and shall, after it has been reduced to writing, be subscribed by the deponent.
(e) If a witness whose testimony may be desired to be taken by deposition shall be in a foreign country, the deposition may be taken before an officer or person designated by the Commission, or agreed upon by the parties by stipulation in writing to be filed with the Commission. All depositions shall be promptly filed with the Commission.
(f) Witnesses whose depositions are taken as authorized in this Act, and the person or officer taking the same, shall be entitled to the same fees as are paid for like services in the courts of the United States.
(g) No person shall be excused from attending and testifying or from producing books, papers, correspondence, memoranda, contracts, agreements, or other records and documents before the Commission, or in obedience to the subpena of the Commission or any member thereof or any officer designated by it, or in any cause or proceeding instituted by the Commission, on the ground that the testimony or evidence, documentary or otherwise, required of him may tend to incriminate him or subject him to a penalty or forfeiture; but no individual shall be prosecuted or subject to any penalty or forfeiture for or on account of any transaction, matter, or thing concerning which he is compelled to testify or produce evidence, documentary or otherwise, after having claimed his privilege against self-incrimination, except that such individual so testifying shall not be exempt from prosecution, and punishment for perjury committed in so testifying.
HEARINGS; RULES AND PROCEDURE
SEC. 22. (a) Hearings under this Act may be held before the Commission, any member or members thereof, or any examiner or officer designated by the Commission, and appropriate records thereof shall be kept. In any proceeding before it, the Commission, in accordance with such rules and regulations as it may prescribe, may admit as a party any interested State, State commission, municipality, or any representative of interested consumers or security holders, or any competitor of a party to such proceedings, or any other person whose participation in the proceeding may appear to be in the public interest.
(b) All hearings, investigations, and proceedings under this Act shall be governed by rules of practice and procedure adopted by the Commission, and in the conduct thereof the technical rules of evidence need not, in the discretion of the Commission, be applied. No informality in any hearing, investigation, or proceeding or in the manner of taking testimony shall invalidate any order decision, rule, or regulation issued under the authority of this Act.
ADMINISTRATIVE POWERS OF COMMISSION; RULES, REGULATIONS, AND ORDERS
SEC. 23. The Commission shall have power to perform any and all acts or duties, and to prescribe, issue, make, amend, and rescind such orders, rules, and regulations as it may find necessary or appropriate to carry out the provisions of this Act. Among other things, such rules and regulations may define accounting, technical, and trade terms used in this Act and may prescribe the form or forms of all statements, declarations, applications, and reports to be filed with the Commission, the information which they shall contain, and the time within which they shall be filed. Unless a different date is specified therein, rules and regulations of the Commission shall be effective thirty days after publication in such manner as the Commission may prescribe. Orders of the Commission shall be effective on such date and in such manner as the Commission shall prescribe. For the purposes of administering this Act, the Commission, by rules and regulations, may classify persons and matters within its jurisdiction and prescribe different requirements for different classes of persons or matters. All rules and regulations of the Commission shall be filed with its secretary and shall be kept open in convenient form for public inspection and examination during reasonable business hours.
REHEARINGS; COURT REVIEW OF ORDERS
SEC. 24. (a) Any person, State, municipality, or State commission aggrieved by an order issued by the Commission in a proceeding under this Act to which such person, State, municipality, or State commission is a party may apply for a rehearing within thirty days after the issuance of such order. The application for rehearing shall set forth specifically the ground or grounds upon which such application is based. Upon the filing of such application the Commission shall have power to grant or deny rehearing or to abrogate or modify its order without further hearing. If the Commission fails to act upon any application for rehearing within thirty days after its filing, such application may be deemed to have been denied on the thirtieth day. No proceeding to set aside or review any order of the Commission shall be brought by any person unless such person shall have made application to the Commission for a rehearing thereon, as herein provided.
(b) Any party to a proceeding under this Act aggrieved by an order issued by the Commission in such proceeding may obtain a review of such order in the circuit court of appeals of the United States for any circuit wherein the natural-gas pipe-line company to which the order relates is located or has its principal place of business, or in the Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia, by filing in such court, within sixty days after the date of the Commission's denial of the application for rehearing, a written petition praying that the order of the Commission be modified or set aside in whole or in part. A copy of such petition shall forthwith be served upon any member of the Commission and thereupon the Commission shall certify and file with the court a transcript of the entire record upon which the order complained of was entered, or such part of such record as may be stipulated between the parties to be sufficient to a determination of the questions sought to be reviewed. Upon the filing of such transcript such court shall have exclusive jurisdiction to affirm, modify, or set aside such order in whole or in part. No objection to the order of the Commission shall be considered by the court which was not urged before the Commission in the application for rehearing, unless the court finds the existence of a reasonable ground for failure so to do. The findings of the Commission as to the facts, if supported by evidence, shall be conclusive. If any party shall apply to the court for leave to adduce additional evidence, and shall show to the satisfaction of the court that such additional evidence is material, and that there were reasonable grounds for failure to adduce such evidence in the pro ceedings before the Commission, the court may order such additional evidence to be taken before the Commission and to be adduced upon the hearing in such manner and upon such terms and conditions as to the court may seem proper. The Commission thereupon may modify its findings as to the facts by reason of the additional evidence so taken, and it shall file with the court such modified or new findings, which, if supported by evidence, likewise shall be conclusive, and its recommendation, if any, for the modification or setting aside of its original order. The judgment and decree of the court, affirming, modifying, or setting aside, in whole or in part, any such order of the Commission, shall be final, subject to review by the Supreme Court of the United States upon certiorari or certification as provided in sections 239 and 240 of the Judicial Code, as amended (U. S. C., title 28, secs. 346 and 347).
(c) The filing of an application for rehearing under subsection (a) shall not, unless specifically ordered by the Commission, operate as a stay of the Commission's order. The commencement of proceedings under subsection (b) of this section shall not, unless specifically ordered by the court, operate as a stay of the Commission's order.
ENFORCEMENT, REGULATIONS, AND ORDERS
SEC. 25. (a) Whenever it shall appear to the Commission that any person is engaged or about to engage in any acts or practices which constitute or will constitute a violation of the provisions of this Act, or of any rule, regulation, or order thereunder, it may in its discretion bring an action in the proper district court of the United States to enjoin such acts or practices and to enforce compliance with this Act or any regulation, or order thereunder, and upon a proper showing a permanent or temporary injunction or mandatory decree or restraining order shall be granted without bond. The Commission may transmit such evidence as may be available concerning such acts or practices to the Attorney General, who, in his discretion, may institute the necessary criminal proceedings under this Act.
(b) Upon application of the Commission the district courts of the United States, or the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia, shall have jurisdiction to issue writs of mandamus commanding any person to comply with the provisions of this Act or any rule, regulation, or order of the Commission thereunder.
GENERAL PENALTIES; VENUE
SEC. 26. (a) Any person who willfully and knowingly does or causes or suffers to be done any act, matter, or thing in this Act prohibited or declared to be unlawful, or who willfully and knowingly omits or fails to do any act, matter, or thing in this Act required to be done, or willfully and knowingly causes or suffers such omission or failure-unless elsewhere herein specifically provided for-shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by a fine of not more than $5,000 or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or both.
(b) Any person who willfully and knowingly violates any rule, regulation, restriction, condition, or order made or imposed by the Commission under authority of this Act, duly published, shall, in addition to any other penalties provided by law, be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by a fine of not exceeding $500 for each and every day during which such offense occurs.
JURISDICTION OF OFFENSES ;
Sec. 27. The district courts of the United States, or the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia, shall have exclusive jurisdiction of violations of this Act or the rules, regulations, and orders thereunder, and of all suits in equity and actions at law brought to enforce any liability or duty created by, or to enjoin any violation of, this Act or any rule, regulation, or order thereunder. Any criminal prceeding shall be brought in the district wherein any act or transaction constituting the violation occured. Any suit or action to enforce any liability or duty created by, or to enjoin any violation of, this Act or any rule, regulation, or order thereunder may be brought in any such district or in the district wherein the defendant is an inhabitant, or is doing business, and process in such cases may be served wherever the defendant may be found. Judgments and decrees so rendered shall be subject to review as provided in sections 128 and 240 of the Judicial Code, as amended (U. S. C., title 28, secs. 225 and 347). No costs shall be assessed against the Commission in any judicial proceeding by or against the Commission under this Act.
CONFLICT OF JURISDICTION
Sec. 28. If, with respect to the method of keeping accounts, the filing of reports, or the acquisition of any security, capital assets, or facilities, any person is subject both to a requirement of the Public Utility Act of 1935 or of a rule, regulation, or order thereunder and to a requirement under this Act or of a rule, regulation, or order thereunder, the requirement of the Public Utility Act of 1935 shall apply to such person and such person shall not be subject to the requirement of this Act or of any rule, regulation, or order thereunder with respect to the same subject matter, unless the Securities and Exchange Cominission shall have exempted such person from such requirement of the Public Utility Act of 1935; in which event the requirements of this Act shall apply to such person. But where jurisdiction of any person subject to this Act is lodged with the Securities and Exchange Commission, all reports of such person filed with it shall, upon request, be made available by the Securities and Exchange Commission to this Commission, in aid of its administration of this Act.
SEPARABILITY OF PROVISIONS
SEC. 29. If any provision of this Act, or the application of such provision to any person, circumstance, or commerce, shall be held invalid, the remainder of the Act, and the application of such provision to persons, circumstances, or commerce other than those as to which it is held invalid, shall not be affected thereby.
The CHAIRMAN. We will first hear from Mr. Benton.
STATEMENT OF JOHN E. BENTON, GENERAL SOLICITOR OF THE
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF RAILROAD AND UTILITIES COMMISSIONERS, EARLE BUILDING, WASHINGTON, D. C.
Mr. BENTON. My name is John E. Benton. My office is in the Earle Building, this city. I am general solicitor of the National Association of Railroad and Utilities Commisisoners, which in its membership represents the State commissions of all of the States of the country except New York and Delaware. Delaware has no comniission.
I desire to present for the record certain amendments requested by the association, which I will do without reading, if I may.
The CHAIRMAN. Very well.
AMENDMENTS TO H. R. 4008 REQUESTED BY THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION
RAILROAD AND UTILITIES COMMISSIONERS
Amend section 1 (b) to read as follows:
“SEC. 1. (b) The provisions of this Act shall apply to the transportation of natural gas in interstate commerce, to the sale of such natural gas at wholesale for resale [to the public], and to natural gas companies engaged in such transportation or sale, but shall not apply to the local distribution of natural gas or to the facilities used for such distribution or to the production or gathering of natural gas: Provided, That nothing in this Act shall be construed to authorize the Commission to fix the rates or charges to the public for the sale of natural gas distributed locally or for the sale of natural gas. for industrial use only.”
AMENDMENT NO. 2
Amend section 2 (5) to read as follows:
“(5) ‘Natural-gas company' means a person engaged in the transportation of natural gas in interstate commerce, or the sale of such gas at wholesale for resale [to the public] whether or not such gas is mixed with artificial gas"
AMENDMENT NO 3
Further amend section 2 by adding thereto the following:
“(9) ‘Natural gas' shall be construed to mean either natural gas unmixed, or any mixture of natural gas and artificial gas.”
AMENDMENT NO. 4
Further amend said bill by inserting after section 16 a new section as follows, renumbering sections 18 to 23 as 19 to 24.
“SEC.  17 (a) The Commission may refer any matter arising in the administration of this [Part] Act to a board to be composed of a member or members, as determined by the Commission, from the State or each of the States affected or to be affected by such matter. Any such board shall be vested with the same power and be subject to the same duties and liabilities: as in the case of a member of the Commission when designated by the Commission to hold any hearings. The action of such board shall have such force and effect and its proceedings shall be conducted in such manner as the Commission shall by regulations prescribe. The board shall be appointed by the Commission from persons nominated by the State commission of each State affected, or by the Governor of such State if there is no State commission. Each State affected shall be entitled to the same number of representatives on the board unless the nominating power of such State waives such right. The Commission shall have discretion to reject the nominee from any State, but shall thereupon invite a new nomination from that State. The members of a board shall receive such allowances for expenses as the Commission shall provide. The Commission may, when in its discretion sufficient reason exists. therefor, revoke any reference to such a board.
“(b) The Commission may confer with any State commission regarding the relationship between rate structures, costs, accounts, charges, practices, classifications, and regulations of public utilities subject to the jurisdiction of such State commission and of the Commission; and the Commission is authorized, under such rules and regulations as it shall prescribe, to hold joint hearings with any State commission in connection with any matter with respect to which the Commission is authorized to act. The Commission is authorized in the administration of this Act to avail itself of such cooperation, services, records, and facilities as may be afforded by any State commission.
"(c) The Commission shall make available to the several State commissions such information and reports as may be of assistance in State regulation of public utilities. Whenever the Commission can do so without prejudice to the efficient and proper conduct of its affairs, it may upon request from a State make available to such State as witnesses any of its trained rate, valuation, or other experts, subject to such reimbursement to the Commission by such State of the compensation and traveling expenses of such witnesses as the Commis