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The Deregulation of the Natural Gas Industry The main objective of my paper is to discuss the key points surrounding the deregulation of the natural gas industry I will lead into this discussion by explaining how the industry performed during a period of regulation and what transpired forcing a change to deregulate By definition deregulation is the de-emphasis of governmental oversight of activities in the private sector Understanding Deregulation p 4 It was believed that regulation which is where the government controls certain aspects of the private sector led to a monopolistic state among businesses and it was no longer viewed as productive with the modern growth of the economy Understanding Regulation p 4 Combine this economic growth with rising oil prices a growing dependency on natural gas and technological advancements within the industry and it becomes clear why deregulation was a necessary move in the late 1970s In order to understand deregulation we need to examine why the natural gas industry was regulated Prior to 1938 there was a total absence of governmental oversight within the industry The Regulation of Natural Gas p 139 Because of this many natural gas companies could charge whatever price they wished for their product This presented a major economic problem in that it gave the gas companies a monopolistic nature with carte blanche in the industry Congress finally stepped in and passed The Natural Gas Act of 1938 citing that the activity in this industry was of a real public interest and changes needed to be made for the betterment of consumers Regulatory Reform p 140 One of the key points of this legislation was that it did not affect the part of the industry that gathered the gas only the pipeline side It would take nearly sixteen years before the regulation procedures of 1938 were finally passed on to the remaining branches of the industry The Regulation of Natural Gas p 140 The
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