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I. Conceptual Framework - The Gordian Knot of Natural Gas Prices

Federal policy toward natural gas prices is once again the subject of national debate. Thought to be settled once and for all by the Natural Gas Policy Act of 1978 (NGPA), it reemerged as an issue in 1981. The proximate causes of the renewed controversy included candidate Ronald Reagan's campaign promise to seek wellhead price decontrol, and the Reagan administration's attempts (until March 1982) to find a workable decontrol proposal. But the wellsprings of the problem go deeper than this, to the history of gas price regulation, to changes in energy markets since 1978, and to serious defects in the NGPA itself.

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Energy Specializations: Natural Gas – Markets and Prices

JEL Codes: Q40: Energy: General, Q48: Energy: Government Policy, Q35: Hydrocarbon Resources

Keywords: Natural gas prices, Gordian knot, Policy, FPC regulation, NGPA

DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol3-No4-1

Published in Volume 3, Number 4 of the bi-monthly journal of the IAEE's Energy Economics Education Foundation.


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