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U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. Champlin Refining Co., 341 U.S. 290 (1951)

United States v. Champlin Refining Co.

No. 433

Argued March 8-9, 1951

Decided May 7, 1951

341 U.S. 290


Appellee owns and operates a pipeline from its refinery in Oklahoma to its terminals in other States. It uses the pipeline solely to carry its own refined petroleum products. No other pipeline or refiner has connections with appellee's line, and no other refiner has ever shipped products through it. At each of its terminals, appellee has storage facilities from which it makes deliveries to jobber purchasers, who supply their own transportation therefrom. At two of its terminals, it has ethyl plants where it processes 20% of its products. Appellee presently handles 1.98% of the total products consumed in its marketing area. There are ample common carrier pipeline facilities available to these markets, and no refinery or other pipeline company has requested a connection with appellee. In an earlier proceeding, Champlin Refining Co. v. United States, 329 U. S. 29, this Court found that appellee was a "common carrier" within the meaning of § 1 of the Interstate Commerce Act, and sustained a Commission order under § 19a requiring appellee to file valuation data, maps, charts, etc. pertaining to its operations.


1. A subsequent order of the Commission is sustained insofar as it requires appellee, under § 20 of the Act, to file annual, periodic and special reports, and to institute and maintain a uniform system of accounts applicable to pipelines. Pp. 341 U. S. 294-297.

2. Insofar as the order requires appellee, under § 6 of the Act, to publish and file schedules showing rates and charges for interstate transportation of refined petroleum products -- which might force appellee to devote its pipeline at least partially to public use -- it goes beyond what Congress contemplated when it passed the Act, and it cannot be sustained. Pp. 341 U. S. 297-301.

95 F.Supp. 170, affirmed in part and reversed in part.

The Interstate Commerce Commission issued an order requiring appellee to take certain steps under §§ 6 and 20 of the Interstate Commerce Act. 274 I.C.C. 409. A three-judge district court denied enforcement. 95 F.Supp. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 341 U. S. 291

170. On direct appeal to this Court, affirmed in part and reversed in part, p. 341 U. S. 301.

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