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Case Detail


ONEOK, Inc. v. Lear Jet, Inc.
On April 21, 2015, by a 7-2 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed an appeals court decision that subjects natural gas companies to state regulation—in the form of massive state antitrust liability—for conduct that is squarely regulated by a comprehensive federal scheme. The decision was setback for WLF, which filed a brief warning the Court that subjecting the natural gas industry to state antitrust liability for practices that affect both retail and wholesale rates would disrupt the Natural Gas Act’s goal of uniformity, by allowing attorneys motivated by large jury awards to create potentially 50 different state regulatory regimes for the natural gas industry. Such an outcome, WLF cautioned, would lead to industry-wide chaos and serve as an unnecessary drag on the economy. WLF’s brief emphasized that Congress enacted the Natural Gas Act to unify regulation in the natural gas wholesale market by giving exclusive authority over that market to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
Case Status:
Loss.
More Information and Downloads:
9/27/2013: Download the Brief
9/25/2014: Download the Brief
Press Release: High Court Urged To Find State-Law Antitrust Claims Preempted Under Natural Gas Act
Press Release: High Court to Decide Whether State-Law Antitrust Claims Are Preempted Under Natural Gas Act
Press Release: WLF Asks High Court to Reject Backdoor Regulation of Natural Gas Rates via State-Law Antitrust Suits
Press Release: High Court Hears Argument Today on Backdoor Regulation of Natural Gas Service Via State-Law Antitrust Suits
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