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United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
April 28, 2009, Filed
[*136] PRISCILLA R. OWEN, Circuit Judge:
Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. and related entities (to which we will refer individually and collectively as ETP) petition for review of an order of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) denying rehearing of an order that alleges ETP violated the Natural Gas Act (NGA), the Natural Gas Policy Act (NGPA), and FERC's implementing regulations and in which FERC [**2] proposed substantial penalties. ETP also petitions for review of a FERC order requiring an adversary hearing on these issues before an administrative law judge (ALJ). Because the issues presented are not ripe for review, we dismiss the petition.
After two years of investigation, FERC issued a Show Cause Order that included its preliminary determinations that: (1) ETP had manipulated wholesale natural-gas prices, in violation of FERC's regulations under the NGA, and (2) ETP's pipeline companies had unduly discriminated against nonaffiliated natural-gas pipeline shippers, unduly preferred affiliated natural-gas pipeline shippers, and charged rates for pipeline transportation service in excess of the maximum lawful rate, in violation of FERC's regulations under the NGPA. 1 As the consequence for the alleged NGA violations, FERC proposed a civil penalty of $ 82,000,000, disgorgement of unjust profits in the amount of $ 69,866,966 plus interest, and revocation of ETP's blanket certificate to sell natural gas. 2 Additional penalties were proposed for the alleged NGPA violations, and FERC directed ETP to respond to the specific allegations detailed in the Show Cause Order. 3
ETP filed an expedited request for rehearing and for a stay of the Show Cause Order, contending that adjudication of civil penalties under the NGA or NGPA should proceed in a de novo trial before a federal district court rather than in administrative proceedings. ETP also asserted that FERC's statements in the Show Cause Order gave the appearance of prejudgment, depriving ETP of due process of law. In an order denying rehearing, FERC rejected ETP's arguments and denied the request to stay the Show Cause Order. 4
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
567 F.3d 134 *; 2009 U.S. App. LEXIS 9116 **; 174 Oil & Gas Rep. 753
ENERGY TRANSFER PARTNERS, L.P.; ENERGY TRANSFER COMPANY; ETC MARKETING LTD; HOUSTON PIPE LINE COMPANY, L.P.; OASIS PIPELINE L.P.; OASIS PIPELINE COMPANY TEXAS L.P.; ETC TEXAS PIPELINE LTD, OASIS DIVISION, Petitioners, v. FEDERAL ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSION, Respondent.
Subsequent History: Petition denied by, Rehearing denied by Energy Transfer Ptnrs v. FERC, 2009 U.S. App. LEXIS 21123 (5th Cir., July 1, 2009)
Prior History: [**1] Petition for Review of Orders of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
regulations, proceedings, orders, civil penalty, federal district court, agency's action, contends, parties, de novo review, violations, petition for review, district court, trial-type, Oil, public hearing, allegations, collateral, ripeness, request for a rehearing, court of appeals, ripe for review, Clean Water Act, assess
Energy & Utilities Law, Natural Gas Industry, Natural Gas Act, General Overview, Administrative Proceedings, Judicial Review, Jurisdiction, Administrative Law, Reviewability, Reviewable Agency Action, Ripeness, US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Hearings & Orders, Judicial Review, Regulators, Authorities & Powers, Civil Procedure, Appeals, Appellate Jurisdiction, Collateral Order Doctrine