The Industry Regulation Timeline

Looking at regulation across industries. 123


The Pacific Railroad Acts Railroad

The Pacific Railroad Acts of 1862 drove the construction of a transcontinental railroad in the United States through authorizing the issuance of government bonds and the grants of land to railroad companies. Most of the transcontinentals were heavily subsidized by all levels of government via sub-market-rate loans, land grants, and special local privileges on the frontier.

The Pacific Railroad Acts (Amendments) Railroad

AN ACT to establish the gauge of the Pacific railroad and its branches. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the gauge of the Pacific railroad and its branches throughout their whole extent, from the Pacific coast to the Missouri river, shall be, and hereby is, established at four feet eight and one-half inches.

Thurman Act Railroad

An act of Congress (May 7, 1878, 20 Stat. 56), which became known as the Thurman Act, was an amendment to solve disputes over the railroad subsidies, revenues, and loan repayments consequential to the original act.

Interstate Commerce Act Railroad

In 1887 Congress passed the Interstate Commerce Act, making the railroads the first industry subject to federal regulation. Congress passed the law largely in response to decades of public demand that railroad operations be regulated.

The Hepburn Act Railroad

The Hepburn Act is a 1906 United States federal law that expanded the jurisdiction of the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) and gave it the power to set maximum railroad rates. This led to the discontinuation of free passes to loyal shippers. In addition, the ICC could view the railroads' financial records, a task simplified by standardized bookkeeping systems. For any railroad that resisted, the ICC's conditions would remain in effect until the outcome of legislation said otherwise. By the Hepburn Act, the ICC's authority was extended to cover bridges, terminals, ferries, railroad sleeping cars, express companies and oil pipelines.

The Mann–Elkins Act Railroad Telecommunications

The Mann–Elkins Act, also called the Railway Rate Act of 1910, was a United States federal law that strengthened the authority of the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) over railroad rates. The law also expanded the ICC's jurisdiction to include regulation of telephone, telegraph and wireless companies, and created a commerce court.

The Radio Act of 1912 Radio

The Radio Act of 1912, formally known as "An Act to Regulate Radio Communication" (37 Stat. 302), is a United States federal law which was the first legislation to require licenses for radio stations. It was enacted before the introduction of broadcasting to the general public, and was eventually found to contain insufficient authority to effectively control this new service, so the Act was replaced and the government's regulatory powers increased by the passage of the Radio Act of 1927.

The Kingsbury Commitment Telecommunications

The Kingsbury Commitment is a 1913 out-of-court settlement of the United States government's antitrust challenge against the American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T) for AT&T's then-growing vertical monopoly in the telephone industry. In return for the government's agreement not to pursue its case against the company as a monopolist, AT&T agreed to divest the controlling interest it had acquired in the Western Union telegraph company, and to allow non-competing independent telephone companies to interconnect with the AT&T long-distance network.

The Federal Power Act Electricity

The Federal Power Act is a law appearing in Chapter 12 of Title 16 of the United States Code, entitled "Federal Regulation and Development of Power". Enacted as the Federal Water Power Act on June 10, 1920, and amended many times since, its original purpose was to more effectively coordinate the development of hydroelectric projects in the United States.

Willis Graham Act Telecommunications

The Willis Graham Act of 1921 effectively established telephone companies as natural monopolies, citing that "there is nothing to be gained by local competition in the telephone industry." The law effectively released AT&T from terms of its Kingsbury Commitment, allowing the company to acquire competing telephone companies under the oversight of the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC).

Shreveport Rate Cases Railroads Telecommunications

The Houston, East and West Texas Railroad and the Texas and Pacific Railway were railroad companies operating rail lines between Shreveport, Louisiana and points in Texas. The Texas Railroad Commission mandated that they charge higher rates on freight travelling between Louisiana and Texas than on freight travelling solely within Texas. The Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) found that the interstate rates were unreasonable and illegally discriminated against freight traffic originating in Shreveport. The ICC established maximum rates and ordered the railroads to fix their intrastate rate schedules. The railroads challenged the order in United States Commerce Court, alleging that the ICC did not have the power to regulate intrastate commerce.

The Radio Act of 1927 Radio

The Radio Act of 1927 (United States Public Law 632, 69th Congress) was signed into law on February 23, 1927. It replaced the Radio Act of 1912, increasing the federal government's regulatory powers over radio communication, with oversight vested in a newly created body, the Federal Radio Commission. It also was the first legislation to mandate that stations had to show they were "in the public interest, convenience, or necessity" in order to receive a license. The Act was later replaced by the Communications Act of 1934.

Smith v. Illinois Bell Telephone Co., 282 U.S. 133 Telecommunications

In a suit by a public utility to enjoin, as confiscatory, an order of a state commission lowering its rates, an interlocutory injunction was granted upon the condition that, if the injunction were dissolved, the plaintiff should refund to its subscribers the amounts paid by them in excess of those chargeable under the commission's order. A large excess had accumulated when, a number of years later, a final injunction was granted. On appeal, held that, as the decree speaks from its date, the question is necessarily presented not only whether the rate order was confiscatory when made, but also as to its validity during the period that has intervened and as to the respective rights of the company and its subscribers in the funds accumulated. P. 282 U. S. 142.

The Communications Act of 1934 Telecommunications

The Communications Act of 1934 combined and organized federal regulation of telephone, telegraph, and radio communications. The Act created the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to oversee and regulate these industries. The Act is updated periodically to add provisions governing new communications technologies, such as broadcast, cable and satellite television.

Public Utility Holding Company Act Electricity

The Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935 (PUHCA),[1] also known as the Wheeler-Rayburn Act, was a US federal law giving the Securities and Exchange Commission authority to regulate, license, and break up electric utility holding companies.

The U.S. vs. Western Union Lawsuit Telecommunications

On January 14, 1949, the Truman Justice Department filed a civil antitrust suit against AT&T and its manufacturing subsidiary WE – United States v. Western Electric. The Justice Department charged that the two companies had established a monopoly in the manufacture, distribution, and sale of telephone equipment. It asked the court to divest AT&T of WE and split WE into three separate companies, to force WE to sell its 50 percent interest in Bell Labs to AT&T, to require AT&T to competitively bid all purchases, and to license its patents to all applicants.

FCC Fairness Doctrine Radio

The fairness doctrine of the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC), introduced in 1949, was a policy that required the holders of broadcast licenses both to present controversial issues of public importance and to do so in a manner that fairly reflected differing viewpoints.[1] In 1987, the FCC abolished the fairness doctrine,[2] prompting some to urge its reintroduction through either Commission policy or congressional legislation.[3] However, later the FCC removed the rule that implemented the policy from the Federal Register in August 2011. The fairness doctrine had two basic elements - It required broadcasters to devote some of their airtime to discussing controversial matters of public interest, and to air contrasting views regarding those matters. Stations were given wide latitude as to how to provide contrasting views - It could be done through news segments, public affairs shows, or editorials. The doctrine did not require equal time for opposing views but required that contrasting viewpoints be presented. The demise of this FCC rule has been cited as a contributing factor in the rising level of party polarization in the United States.

The Department of Energy Organization Act Electricity

Congress passed the Department of Energy Organization Act in 1977 in response to a shortage of energy resources and an increasing dependence on foreign energy supplies.66 The Act implemented a national energy program under a single department in the Executive branch––now known as the Department of Energy (hereinafter, “DOE”)––and relocated the FPC within the DOE, renaming it the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (hereinafter, “the Commission” or “FERC”). The Act awarded the Commission most of the regulatory functions previously held by the FPC.

Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act Electricity

The Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA, Pub.L. 95–617, 92 Stat. 3117, enacted November 9, 1978) is a United States Act passed as part of the National Energy Act. It was meant to promote energy conservation (reduce demand) and promote greater use of domestic energy and renewable energy (increase supply). The law was created in response to the 1973 energy crisis, and one year in advance of a second energy crisis.

The Staggers Rail Act Railroad

The Staggers Rail Act of 1980 is a United States federal law that deregulated the American railroad industry to a significant extent, and it replaced the regulatory structure that had existed since the Interstate Commerce Act of 1887.

Breakup of the Bell System Telecommunications

The breakup of the Bell System was mandated on January 8, 1982, by an agreed consent decree providing that AT&T Corporation would, as had been initially proposed by AT&T, relinquish control of the Bell Operating Companies, which had provided local telephone service in the United States.[1] This effectively took the monopoly that was the Bell System and split it into entirely separate companies that would continue to provide telephone service. AT&T would continue to be a provider of long-distance service, while the now-independent Regional Bell Operating Companies (RBOCs), nicknamed the "Baby Bells", would provide local service, and would no longer be directly supplied with equipment from AT&T subsidiary Western Electric.

Energy Policy Act of 1992 Electricity

The Energy Policy Act of 1992, effective October 24, 1992, (102nd Congress H.R.776.ENR, abbreviated as EPACT92) is a United States government act. It was passed by Congress and set goals, created mandates, and amended utility laws to increase clean energy use and improve overall energy efficiency in the United States. The Act consists of twenty-seven titles detailing various measures designed to lessen the nation's dependence on imported energy, provide incentives for clean and renewable energy, and promote energy conservation in buildings.

FERC Orders 888 and 889 Electricity

FERC Orders 888 and 889 deal with several major aspects of access to transmission. The first is equal access at nondiscriminatory prices. FERC Order 888 requires all public utilities to file tariffs providing nondiscriminatory access to all wholesale users. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 1996.

FERC Order 2000 Electricity

In December of 1999, FERC issued Order 2000.187 The Order requested all transmissionowning utilities188 voluntarily place their transmission facilities under the control of regional transmission organization (hereinafter, “RTO”).189 It was an effort by FERC to move the transmission system away from a vertically-integrated ownership structure and towards a system controlled by an unaffiliated neutral organization.

Telecommunications Act of 1996 Telecommunications

The Teleommunications Act of 1996 is a United States federal law enacted by the 104th United States Congress on January 3, 1996, and signed into law on February 8, 1996, by President Bill Clinton. It primarily amended Chapter 5 of Title 47 of the United States Code, The act was the first significant overhaul of United States telecommunications law in more than sixty years, amending the Communications Act of 1934, and represented a major change in American telecommunication law, because it was the first time that the Internet was included in broadcasting and spectrum allotment. The goal of the law was to "let anyone enter any communications business – to let any communications business compete in any market against any other." The legislation's primary goal was deregulation of the converging broadcasting and telecommunications markets. The law's regulatory policies have been criticized, including the effects of dualistic re-regulation of the communications market.

The 2005 Energy Policy Act Electricity

Passage of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (hereinafter, “EPAct 2005”) had significant impacts on the electric industry.205 Transmission congestion had become an impediment to the reliable and efficient operation of competitive markets.206 In response, the EPAct 2005 added §219 to the FPA, mandating that the Commission “establish, by rule, incentive-based (including performance-based) rate treatments for the transmission of electric energy in interstate commerce.