‘Foundations & Trends in Microeconomics’ Features Article on Pipeline Regulation by Matthew E. Oliver

The latest issue of Foundations & Trends® in Microeconomics features an extended-length article by Matthew E. Oliver of the Georgia Tech School of Economics and coauthor Charles F. Mason of the University of Wyoming, titled “Natural Gas Pipeline Regulation in the United States: Past, Present, and Future.” The article presents a comprehensive historical economic review of federal-level regulation of the U.S. interstate natural gas pipeline network, one of the most extensive infrastructure networks in the world, and one of the most critical for U.S. energy markets.

Oliver and Mason begin by tracing the gas pipeline industry back to its inception, followed by reviewing the major regulatory successes (and failures) of the 20th Century that have helped shape the gas pipeline network into its present form. They focus especially on the major regulatory overhaul that occurred in the 1990’s, when the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission restructured the U.S. natural gas market into separate production, transmission, and local distribution sectors, reviewing the wealth of economic and policy literature that followed as the market adjusted to this new structure. Finally, the authors offer predictions regarding the likely direction of future regulatory changes in the U.S. gas pipeline industry, paying particular attention to the possibility of implementing what economists refer to as “incentive-based” regulation for interstate natural gas pipelines.

The article is currently available at the following link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1561/0700000070

 

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