Court Snubs Challenge to|Alaska Pipeline Rate Cut

     (CN) – Trans-Alaska Pipeline owners charged too much for oil shipping in 2005 and 2006, the D.C. Circuit ruled.




     On behalf of Koch Industries, which owns 3 percent of the pipeline, Flint Hills Resources challenged the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s decision that the pipeline rates went up too much after 2004.
     Other owners of the pipeline include BP, Exxon Mobil, ConocoPhillips and Unocal Pipeline, according to the pipeline’s website.
     Alaska and two oil shippers, Anadarko Petroleum and Tesoro, protested the rate hikes, and the commission ordered refunds for the difference between the new rates and the 2004 rates.
     Senior Circuit Judge Stephen Williams upheld the commission’s decision, finding it to be neither arbitrary nor capricious.
     “The carriers assert a host of methodological errors in these decisions,” Williams wrote for the court. “We are unpersuaded.”
     Williams rejected Alaska’s claim that it deserved reparations for discrimination between in-state and out-of-state carriers.
     The pipeline owners’ appeal also objected to the commission’s rulings regarding the expected dismantling and removal of the pipeline, which is nearing the end of its useful life. Williams ruled that those objections are unripe.

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