42 U.S. Code § 8441 - Preservation of contractual interest

prev | next
(a) Right to transfer contractual interests
(1) If any person receives natural gas, the use of which is prohibited by the provisions of subchapter III of this chapter or any rule or order thereunder, and if such natural gas is received pursuant to a contract in effect on April 20, 1977, between such person and any other person, such person receiving such natural gas may transfer all or any portion of such person’s contractual interests under such contract and receive consideration from the person to whom such contractual interests are transferred. The consideration authorized by this subsection shall not exceed the maximum consideration established as just compensation under this section.
(2) Any person who would have transported or distributed the natural gas subject to a contract with respect to which contractual interests are transferred pursuant to paragraph (1) shall be entitled to receive just compensation (as determined by the Commission) from the person to whom such contractual interests are transferred.
(b) Determination of consideration
(1) The Commission shall, by rule, establish guidelines for the application on a regional or national basis (as may be appropriate) of the criteria specified in subsection (e)(1) of this section to determine the maximum consideration permitted as just compensation under this section.
(2) The person transferring contractual interests pursuant to subsection (a)(1) of this section and the person to whom such interests are transferred may agree on the amount of, or method of determining, the consideration to be paid for such transfer and certify such consideration to the Commission. Except as provided in paragraph (4), such agreed-upon consideration shall not exceed the consideration determined by application of the guidelines prescribed by the Commission under paragraph (1).
(3) In the event the person transferring contractual interests pursuant to subsection (a)(1) of this section and the person to whom such interests are to be transferred fail to agree, under paragraph (2), on the amount of, or method of determining, the consideration to be paid for such transfer, the Commission may, at the request of both such persons, prescribe the amount of, or method of determining, such consideration. Upon the request of either such person, the Commission shall make such determination on the record, after an opportunity for agency hearing. In any such latter case, the determination of the Commission shall be binding upon the party requesting that such determination be made on the record of the agency hearing. The consideration prescribed by the Commission shall not exceed the maximum consideration permitted as just compensation under this section. In prescribing the amount of, or method of determining, consideration under this paragraph, to the maximum extent practicable, the Commission shall utilize any liquidated damages provision set forth in the applicable contract, but in no event may the Commission prescribe consideration in excess of the maximum consideration permitted as just compensation under this section.
(4) In the event that the consideration agreed upon under paragraph (2) exceeds the consideration determined by application of the guidelines prescribed by the Commission under paragraph (1), the Commission may approve such agreed-upon consideration if the Commission determines such agreed-upon consideration does not exceed the maximum consideration permitted as just compensation under this section.
(5) If consideration is agreed upon under paragraph (2) and such consideration exceeds the consideration determined by application of the guidelines prescribed under paragraph (1), but does not exceed the maximum consideration permitted as just compensation under this section, the Commission may not require a refund of any portion of the agreed-upon consideration paid with respect to deliveries of natural gas occurring prior to the Commission’s action under paragraph (4) approving or disapproving such consideration unless the Commission determines—
(A) such agreed-upon consideration was fraudulently established;
(B) the processing of the request for approval of such agreed-upon consideration under paragraph (4) was willfully delayed by a party to the transfer; or
(C) such agreed-upon consideration exceeds the maximum consideration permitted as just compensation under this section.
(c) Restrictions on transfers unenforceable
(1) Any provision of any contract, which prohibits any transfer authorized by subsection (a)(1) of this section or terminates such contract on the basis of such transfer, shall be unenforceable in any court of the United States and in any court of any State.
(2) No State may enforce any prohibition on any transfer authorized by subsection (a)(1) of this section.
(d) Contractual obligations unaffected
The person acquiring contractual interests transferred pursuant to subsection (a)(1) of this section shall assume the contractual obligations which the person transferring such contractual interests has under such contract. This subsection shall not relieve the person transferring such contractual interests from any contractual obligation of such person under such contract if such obligation is not performed by the person acquiring such contractual interests.
(e) Definitions
For purposes of this section—
(1) The term “just compensation”, when used with respect to any transfer of contractual interests authorized by subsection (a)(1) of this section, means the maximum amount of, or method of determining, consideration which does not exceed the amount by which—
(A) the reasonable costs (excluding capital costs) incurred, during the remainder of the period of the contract with respect to which contractual interests are transferred under subsection (a)(1) of this section, in direct association with the use of a fuel, other than natural gas, as a primary energy source by the applicable existing electric powerplant, exceed
(B) the price of natural gas under such contract during such period.
For purposes of subparagraph (A), the reasonable costs associated with the use of a fuel, other than natural gas, as a primary energy source shall include an allowance for the amortization, over the remaining useful life, of the undepreciated value of depreciable assets located on the premises containing such electric powerplant, which assets were directly associated with the use of natural gas and are not usable in connection with the use of such other fuel.
(2) The term “just compensation”, when used with respect to subsection (a)(2) of this section, means an amount equal to any loss of revenue, during the remaining period of the contract with respect to which contractual interests are transferred pursuant to subsection (a)(1) of this section, to the extent such loss
(A) is directly incurred by reason of the discontinuation of the transportation or distribution of natural gas resulting from the transfer of contractual interests pursuant to subsection (a)(1) of this section, and
(B) is not offset by revenues derived from other transportation or distribution which would not have occurred if such contractual interests had not been transferred.
(3) The term “contractual interests”, with respect to a contract described in subsection (a)(1) of this section, includes the right to receive natural gas as affected by any applicable curtailment plan filed with the Commission or the appropriate State regulatory authority.
(4) The term “State” means each of the several States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, any territory or possession of the United States, and any political subdivision of any of the foregoing.
(5) The term “interstate pipeline” means any person engaged in the transportation of natural gas in interstate commerce subject to the jurisdiction of the Commission under the Natural Gas Act [15 U.S.C. 717 et seq.].
(6) The term “Commission” means the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
(7) The term “contract”, when used with respect to a contract for receipt of natural gas, which contract was in existence on April 20, 1977, does not include any renewal or extension occurring after such date unless such renewal or extension occurs pursuant to the exercise of an option by the person receiving natural gas under such contract.
(f) Coordination with Natural Gas Act
(1) Consideration paid by any interstate pipeline pursuant to this section shall be deemed just and reasonable for purposes of sections 4, 5, and 7 of the Natural Gas Act [15 U.S.C. 717c, 717d, 717f]. The Commission shall not deny a passthrough by such interstate pipeline of such consideration based upon the amount of such consideration paid pursuant to this section.
(2) No person shall be subject to the jurisdiction of the Commission under the Natural Gas Act [15 U.S.C. 717 et seq.] or to regulation as a common carrier under any provision of Federal or State law solely by reason of making any sale, or engaging in any transportation, of natural gas with respect to which the transfer of contractual interests is authorized under subsection (a)(1) of this section.
(3) Nothing in this section shall exempt from the jurisdiction of the Commission under the Natural Gas Act [15 U.S.C. 717 et seq.] any transportation in interstate commerce of natural gas, any sale in interstate commerce for resale of natural gas, or any person engaged in such transportation or such sale to the extent such transportation, sale or person is subject to the juridiction  [1] of the Commission under such Act without regard to the transfer of contractual interests under subsection (a)(1) of this section.
(4) Nothing in this section shall exempt any person from any obligation to obtain a certificate of public convenience and necessity for the transportation by an interstate pipeline of natural gas with respect to which the transfer of contractual interests is authorized under subsection (a)(1) of this section. The Commission shall not deny such a certificate for the transportation in interstate commerce of natural gas based upon the amount of consideration paid pursuant to this section.
(g) Volume limitation
No supplier of natural gas under any contract, with respect to which contractual interests have been transferred under subsection (a)(1) of this section, shall be required to supply natural gas during any relevant period in volume amounts which exceed the lesser of—
(1) the volume determined by reference to the maximum delivery obligations specified in such contract;
(2) the volume which such supplier would have been required to supply, under the curtailment plan in effect for such supplier, to the person, who transferred contractual interests under subsection (a)(1) of this section, if no such transfer had occurred;
(3) the volume which would have been delivered, or for which payment would have been made, pursuant to such contract but for the prohibition on the use of such natural gas under subchapter III of this chapter or any rule or order thereunder; and
(4) the volume actually delivered or for which payment would have been made pursuant to such contract during the 12-calendar-month period ending immediately before such transfer of contractual interests pursuant to this section.
(h) Judicial review
Any action by the Commission under this section is subject to judicial review in accordance with chapter 7 of title 5.


[1]  So in original. Probably should be “jurisdiction”.

Source

(Pub. L. 95–620, title VII, § 731,Nov. 9, 1978, 92 Stat. 3336; Pub. L. 100–42, § 1(c)(21),May 21, 1987, 101 Stat. 314.)
References in Text

The Natural Gas Act, referred to in subsecs. (e)(5) and (f)(2), (3), is act June 21, 1938, ch. 556, 52 Stat. 821, as amended, which is classified generally to chapter 15B (§ 717 et seq.) of Title 15, Commerce and Trade. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see section 717w of Title 15 and Tables.
Amendments

1987—Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 100–42, § 1(c)(21)(A), struck out reference to subchapter II of this chapter.
Subsec. (e)(1). Pub. L. 100–42, § 1(c)(21)(B), struck out “or major fuel-burning installation” after “powerplant” in subpar. (A) and “or major fuel-burning installation” after “powerplant” in last sentence.
Subsec. (g)(3). Pub. L. 100–42, § 1(c)(21)(A), struck out reference to subchapter II of this chapter.

The table below lists the classification updates, since Jan. 3, 2012, for this section. Updates to a broader range of sections may be found at the update page for containing chapter, title, etc.

The most recent Classification Table update that we have noticed was Tuesday, August 13, 2013

An empty table indicates that we see no relevant changes listed in the classification tables. If you suspect that our system may be missing something, please double-check with the Office of the Law Revision Counsel.

42 USCDescription of ChangeSession YearPublic LawStatutes at Large

 

LII has no control over and does not endorse any external Internet site that contains links to or references LII.