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Energy Agency Need Not Investigate, Court Says

(CN) - The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's decision not to investigate alleged anticompetitive activity among New Mexico oil pipelines is not subject to judicial review, the D.C. Circuit ruled, tossing a challenge brought by two crude oil companies.

Resolute Natural Resources Co. and Resolute Aneth claimed that Western Refining Pipeline Co.'s proposed rates cramped their access to competitive markets. The FERC dismissed their complaint as speculative.

The rates were part of Western's plan to transport crude oil from west Texas and southeastern New Mexico to northwestern New Mexico.

"[T]he decision whether to initiate an investigation is within the discretion of the Commission," Judge Douglas Ginsburg wrote.

The commission's decision is not open to review under the Interstate Commerce Act, the appellate panel added. The FERC did not overstep its authority and it doesn't have to explain why it chose not to review the rates.

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