15 U.S.C.
United States Code, 2010 Edition
Title 15 - COMMERCE AND TRADE
CHAPTER 15A - INTERSTATE TRANSPORTATION OF PETROLEUM PRODUCTS
From the U.S. Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov

CHAPTER 15A—INTERSTATE TRANSPORTATION OF PETROLEUM PRODUCTS

Sec.
715.
Purpose of chapter.
715a.
Definitions.
715b.
Interstate transportation of contraband oil forbidden.
715c.
Suspension of operation of section 715b of this title.
715d.
Enforcement of chapter.
715e.
Penalties for violation of chapter.
715f.
Forfeiture of contraband oil shipped in violation of law; procedure.
715g.
Refusal of carrier to accept shipment without certificate of clearance; certificate as justifying acceptance of shipment.
715h.
Hearings and investigation by boards; appointment of board and employees.
715i.
Restraining violations.
715j.
“President” as including agencies, officers and employees.
715k.
Saving clause.
715l.
Repealed.
715m.
Cooperation between Secretary of the Interior and Federal and State authorities.

        

Construction of Petroleum Pipe Lines

Act July 30, 1941, ch. 333, 55 Stat. 610, as amended June 30, 1943, ch. 180, 57 Stat. 270; June 8, 1945, ch. 177, 59 Stat. 233; July 25, 1947, ch. 327, §1, 61 Stat. 449, related to the construction of pipe lines for the transportation and/or distribution of petroleum or petroleum products moving in interstate commerce, or the extension or completion of any such pipe lines already wholly or partly constructed, that might be necessary for national-defense purposes. Section 9 of Act July 30, 1941, provided that neither the President, any department or agency of the Government nor any person shall exercise any of the powers conferred by sections 2, 3, 4, or 6 of Act July 30, 1941, after June 30, 1946, and in no case shall any pipe line constructed, extended or completed under authority of section 4 be operated or maintained by or under the direction or control of the President or any department or agency of the Government after the expiration of one year after the termination of the unlimited national emergency proclaimed on May 27, 1941. Joint Res. July 25, 1947, ch. 327, §3, 61 Stat. 451, provided that in the interpretation of Act July 30, 1941, the date July 25, 1947, shall be deemed to be the date of termination of any state of war theretofore declared by Congress and of the national emergency proclaimed by the President on May 27, 1941.

National Defense Pipe Lines

Construction of a national defense pipe line from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to Greensboro, North Carolina, by the Plantation Pipe Line Company was authorized by Proc. No. 2505, Aug. 23, 1941, 6 F.R. 4429, 55 Stat. 1670.

Construction of a national defense pipe line from South Portland, Maine, through North Troy, Vermont, to Montreal, Canada, by the Portland Pipe Line Company was authorized by Proc. No. 2517, Oct. 1, 1941, 6 F.R. 5081, 55 Stat. 1691.

Construction of a national defense pipe line from Port Saint Joe, Florida, to Chattanooga, Tennessee, by the Southeastern Pipe Line Company was authorized by Proc. No. 2508, Sept. 3, 1941, 6 F.R. 4583, 55 Stat. 1672.

Construction of one or more national defense pipe lines from Port Saint Joe, and other points on the Gulf Coast of Florida to the Saint Johns River, Florida, and a crude-oil pipe line from Yazoo, Mississippi, to Charleston, South Carolina and/or Savannah, Georgia, was authorized by act July 23, 1942, ch. 520, §1, 56 Stat. 703, as amended June 17, 1943, ch. 127, 57 Stat. 156.

Construction of a national defense pipe line from El Dorado, Arkansas, to Helena, Arkansas, by the Project Five Pipe Line Corporation, was authorized by Proc. No. 2567, Aug. 28, 1942, 7 F.R. 6839, 56 Stat. 1975.

§715. Purpose of chapter

It is declared to be the policy of Congress to protect interstate and foreign commerce from the diversion and obstruction of, and the burden and harmful effect upon, such commerce caused by contraband oil as herein defined, and to encourage the conservation of deposits of crude oil situated within the United States.

(Feb. 22, 1935, ch. 18, §1, 49 Stat. 30.)

Short Title

Act Feb. 22, 1935, which is classified to this chapter, is popularly known as the “Hot Oil Act” and also as the “Connally Hot Oil Act”.

§715a. Definitions

As used in this chapter—

(1) The term “contraband oil” means petroleum which, or any constituent part of which, was produced, transported, or withdrawn from storage in excess of the amounts permitted to be produced, transported, or withdrawn from storage under the laws of a State or under any regulation or order prescribed thereunder by any board, commission, officer, or other duly authorized agency of such State, or any of the products of such petroleum, except petroleum or any of its constituent parts, title to which has been acquired by a State pursuant to its laws.

(2) The term “products” or “petroleum products” includes any article produced or derived in whole or in part from petroleum or any product thereof by refining, processing, manufacturing, or otherwise.

(3) The term “interstate commerce” means commerce between any point in a State and any point outside thereof, or between points within the same State but through any place outside thereof, or from any place in the United States to a foreign country, but only insofar as such commerce takes place within the United States.

(4) The term “person” includes an individual, partnership, corporation, or joint-stock company,

(Feb. 22, 1935, ch. 18, §2, 49 Stat. 30; Pub. L. 89–644, Oct. 13, 1966, 80 Stat. 890.)

Amendments

1966—Pub. L. 89–644 inserted provisions in par. (1) exempting petroleum or any of its constituent parts, title to which has been acquired by a State pursuant to its laws.

§715b. Interstate transportation of contraband oil forbidden

The shipment or transportation in interstate commerce from any State of contraband oil produced in such State is prohibited. For the purposes of this section contraband oil shall not be deemed to have been produced in a State if none of the petroleum constituting such contraband oil, or from which it was produced or derived, was produced, transported, or withdrawn from storage in excess of the amounts permitted to be produced, transported, or withdrawn from storage under the laws of such State or under any regulation or order prescribed thereunder by any board, commission, officer, or other duly authorized agency of such State.

(Feb. 22, 1935, ch. 18, §3, 49 Stat. 31.)

§715c. Suspension of operation of section 715b of this title

Whenever the President finds that the amount of petroleum and petroleum products moving in interstate commerce is so limited as to be the cause, in whole or in part, of a lack of parity between supply (including imports and reasonable withdrawals from storage) and consumptive demand (including exports and reasonable additions to storage) resulting in an undue burden on or restriction of interstate commerce in petroleum and petroleum products, he shall by proclamation declare such finding, and thereupon the provisions of section 715b of this title shall be inoperative until such time as the President shall find and by proclamation declare that the conditions which gave rise to the suspension of the operation of the provisions of such section no longer exist. If any provision of this section or the application thereof shall be held to be invalid, the validity of application of section 715b of this title shall not be affected thereby.

(Feb. 22, 1935, ch. 18, §4, 49 Stat. 31.)

§715d. Enforcement of chapter

(a) Rules and regulations

The President shall prescribe such regulations as he finds necessary or appropriate for the enforcement of the provisions of this chapter, including but not limited to regulations requiring reports, maps, affidavits, and other documents relating to the production, storage, refining, processing, transporting, or handling of petroleum and petroleum products, and providing for the keeping of books and records, and for the inspection of such books and records and of properties and facilities.

(b) Certificate of clearance for petroleum and petroleum products

Whenever the President finds it necessary or appropriate for the enforcement of the provisions of this chapter he shall require certificates of clearance for petroleum and petroleum products moving or to be moved in interstate commerce from any particular area, and shall establish a board or boards for the issuance of such certificates. A certificate of clearance shall be issued by a board so established in any case where such board determines that the petroleum or petroleum products in question does not constitute contraband oil. Denial of any such certificate shall be by order of the board, and only after reasonable opportunity for hearing. Whenever a certificate of clearance is required for any area in any State, it shall be unlawful to ship or transport petroleum or petroleum products in interstate commerce from such area unless a certificate has been obtained therefor.

(c) Review of order of denial of certificate of clearance

Any person whose application for a certificate of clearance is denied may obtain a review of the order denying such application in the United States District Court for the district wherein the board is sitting by filing in such court within thirty days after the entry of such order a written petition praying that the order of the board be modified or set aside, in whole or in part. A copy of such petition shall be forthwith served upon the board, and thereupon the board shall certify and file in the court a transcript of the record upon which the order complained of was entered. Upon the filing of such transcript, such court shall have jurisdiction to affirm, modify, or set aside such order, in whole or in part. No objection to the order of the board shall be considered by the court unless such objection shall have been urged before the board. The finding of the board as to the facts, if supported by evidence, shall be conclusive. The judgment and decree of the court shall be final, subject to review as provided in sections 1254, 1291, and 1292 of title 28.

(Feb. 22, 1935, ch. 18, §5, 49 Stat. 31.)

Codification

In subsec. (c), “sections 1254, 1291, and 1292 of title 28” substituted for “sections 128 and 240 of the Judicial Code, as amended [28 U.S.C. 225 and 347]” on authority of act June 25, 1948, ch. 646, 62 Stat. 869, the first section of which enacted Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.

§715e. Penalties for violation of chapter

Any person knowingly violating any provision of this chapter or any regulation prescribed thereunder shall upon conviction be punished by a fine of not to exceed $2,000 or by imprisonment for not to exceed six months, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

(Feb. 22, 1935, ch. 18, §6, 49 Stat. 32.)

§715f. Forfeiture of contraband oil shipped in violation of law; procedure

(a) Seizure procedure; return of contraband oil

Contraband oil shipped or transported in interstate commerce in violation of the provisions of this chapter shall be liable to be proceeded against in any district court of the United States within the jurisdiction of which the same may be found, and seized for forfeiture to the United States by a process of libel for condemnation; but in any such case the court may in its discretion, and under such terms and conditions as it shall prescribe, order the return of such contraband oil to the owner thereof where undue hardship would result from such forfeiture. The proceedings in such cases shall conform as nearly as may be to proceedings in rem in admiralty, except that either party may demand a trial by jury of any issue of fact joined in any such case, and all such proceedings shall be at the suit of and in the name of the United States. Contraband oil forfeited to the United States as provided in this section shall be used or disposed of pursuant to such rules and regulations as the President shall prescribe.

(b) Certificates of clearance

No such forfeiture shall be made in the case of contraband oil owned by any person (other than a person shipping such contraband oil in violation of the provisions of this chapter) who has with respect to such contraband oil a certificate of clearance which on its face appears to be valid and to have been issued by a board created under authority of section 715d of this title, certifying that the shipment in question is not contraband oil, and such person had no reasonable ground for believing such certificate to be invalid or to have been issued as a result of fraud or misrepresentation of fact.

(Feb. 22, 1935, ch. 18, §7, 49 Stat. 32.)

§715g. Refusal of carrier to accept shipment without certificate of clearance; certificate as justifying acceptance of shipment

No common carrier who shall refuse to accept petroleum or petroleum products from any area in which certificates of clearance are required under authority of this chapter, by reason of the failure of the shipper to deliver such a certificate to such carrier, or who shall refuse to accept any petroleum or petroleum products when having reasonable ground for believing that such petroleum or petroleum products constitute contraband oil, shall be liable on account of such refusal for any penalties or damages. No common carrier shall be subject to any penalty under section 715e of this title in any case where (1) such carrier has a certificate of clearance which on its face appears to be valid and to have been issued by a board created under authority of section 715d of this title, certifying that the shipment in question is not contraband oil, and such carrier had no reasonable ground for believing such certificate to be invalid or to have been issued as a result of fraud or misrepresentation of fact, or (2) such carrier, as respects any shipment originating in any area where certificates of clearance are not required under authority of this chapter, had no reasonable ground for believing such petroleum or petroleum products to constitute contraband oil.

(Feb. 22, 1935, ch. 18, §8, 49 Stat. 32.)

§715h. Hearings and investigation by boards; appointment of board and employees

(a) Hearings

Any board established under authority of section 715d of this title, and any agency designated under authority of section 715j of this title, may hold and conduct such hearings, investigations, and proceedings as may be necessary for the purposes of this chapter, and for such purposes those provisions of section 78u of this title relating to the administering of oaths and affirmations, and to the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of evidence (including penalties), shall apply.

(b) Appointments

The members of any board established under authority of section 715d of this title shall be appointed by the President, subject to chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of title 5; and any such board may appoint, subject to chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of title 5, such employees as may be necessary for the execution of its functions under this chapter.

(Feb. 22, 1935, ch. 18, §9, 49 Stat. 33; Oct. 28, 1949, ch. 782, title XI, §1106(a), 63 Stat. 972.)

Codification

Provisions of subsec. (b) that authorized appointments “without regard to the civil service laws” omitted as obsolete and superseded. Such appointments are now subject to the civil service laws unless specifically excepted by those laws or by laws enacted subsequent to Executive Order 8743, Apr. 23, 1941, issued by the President pursuant to the Act of Nov. 26, 1940, ch. 919, title I, §1, 54 Stat. 1211, which covered most excepted positions into the classified (competitive) civil service. The Order is set out as a note under section 3301 of Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.

“Chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of title 5” substituted in subsec. (b) for “the Classification Act of 1949, as amended” on authority of Pub. L. 89–554, §7(b), Sept. 6, 1966, 80 Stat. 631, the first section of which enacted Title 5.

Amendments

1949—Subsec. (b). Act Oct. 28, 1949, substituted “Classification Act of 1949” for “Classification Act of 1923”.

Repeals

Act Oct. 28, 1949, ch. 782, cited as a credit to this section, was repealed (subject to a savings clause) by Pub. L. 89–554, Sept. 6, 1966, §8, 80 Stat. 632, 655.

§715i. Restraining violations

(a) Mandatory injunction upon application of President

Upon application of the President, by the Attorney General, the United States District Courts shall have jurisdiction to issue mandatory injunctions commanding any person to comply with the provisions of this chapter or any regulation issued thereunder.

(b) Discretionary action in district court to enjoin acts or practices

Whenever it shall appear to the President that any person is engaged or about to engage in any acts or practices that constitute or will constitute a violation of any provision of this chapter or of any regulation thereunder, he may in his discretion, by the Attorney General, bring an action in the proper United States District Court to enjoin such acts or practices, and upon a proper showing a permanent or temporary injunction or restraining order shall be granted without bond.

(c) Exclusive jurisdiction of district court; review

The United States District Courts shall have exclusive jurisdiction of violations of this chapter or the regulations thereunder, and of all suits in equity and actions at law brought to enforce any liability or duty created by, or to enjoin any violation of, this chapter or the regulations thereunder. Any criminal proceeding may be brought in the district wherein any act or transaction constituting the violation occurred. Any suit or action to enforce any liability or duty created by this chapter or regulations thereunder, or to enjoin any violation of this chapter or any regulations thereunder, may be brought in any such district or in the district wherein the defendant is found or is an inhabitant or transacts business, and process in such cases may be served in any other district of which the defendant is an inhabitant or wherever the defendant may be found. Judgments and decrees so rendered shall be subject to review as provided in sections 1254, 1291, and 1292 of title 28.

(Feb. 22, 1935, ch. 18, §10, 49 Stat. 33.)

Codification

In subsec. (c), “sections 1254, 1291, and 1292 of title 28” substituted for “sections 128 and 240 of the Judicial Code, as amended [28 U.S.C. 225 and 347]” on authority of act June 25, 1948, ch. 646, 62 Stat. 869, the first section of which enacted Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.

§715j. “President” as including agencies, officers and employees

Wherever reference is made in this chapter to the President such reference shall be held to include, in addition to the President, any agency, officer, or employee who may be designated by the President for the execution of any of the powers and functions vested in the President under this chapter.

(Feb. 22, 1935, ch. 18, §11, 49 Stat. 33.)

Delegation of Functions

Ex. Ord. No. 6979, Feb. 28, 1935, which designated and appointed Secretary of the Interior to execute powers and functions vested in President by this chapter except those vested in him by section 715c of this title, was superseded by Ex. Ord. No. 10752, set out below.

Ex. Ord. No. 7756, Dec. 1, 1937, 2 F.R. 2664, which delegated to Secretary of the Interior powers and functions vested in President under this chapter except those vested in him by section 715c of this title, and authorized Secretary to establish a Petroleum Conservation Division in Department of the Interior, the functions and duties of which shall be: (1) to assist, in such manner as may be prescribed by Secretary of the Interior, in administering said act, (2) to cooperate with oil and gas-producing States in prevention of waste in oil and gas production and in adoption of uniform oil- and gas-conservation laws and regulations, and (3) to keep informed currently as to facts which may be required for exercise of responsibility of President under section 715c of this title, was superseded by Ex. Ord. No. 10752, set out below.

Ex. Ord. No. 10752. Delegation of Functions to the Secretary of the Interior

Ex. Ord. No. 10752, Feb. 12, 1958, 23 F.R. 973, provided:

Section 1. The Secretary of the Interior is hereby designated and appointed as the agent of the President for the execution of all the powers and functions vested in the President by the act of February 22, 1935, 49 Stat. 30, entitled “An Act to regulate interstate and foreign commerce in petroleum and its products by prohibiting the shipment in such commerce of petroleum and its products produced in violation of State law, and for other purposes,” as amended (15 U.S.C. 715 et seq.), except those vested in the President by section 4 of the act (15 U.S.C. 715c).

Sec. 2. The Secretary of the Interior may make such provisions in the Department of the Interior as he may deem appropriate to administer the said act.

Sec. 3. This Executive order supersedes Executive Order No. 6979 of February 28, 1935, Executive Order No. 7756 of December 1, 1937 (2 F.R. 2664), Executive Order No. 9732 of June 3, 1946 (11 F.R. 5985), and paragraph (q) of section 1 of Executive Order No. 10250 of June 5, 1951 (16 F.R. 5385).

Dwight D. Eisenhower.      

§715k. Saving clause

If any provision of this chapter, or the application thereof to any person or circumstance, shall be held invalid, the validity of the remainder of the chapter and the application of such provision to other persons or circumstances shall not be affected thereby.

(Feb. 22, 1935, ch. 18, §12, 49 Stat. 33.)

§715l. Repealed. June 22, 1942, ch. 436, 56 Stat. 381

Section, acts Feb. 22, 1935, ch. 18, §13, 49 Stat. 33; June 14, 1937, ch. 335, 50 Stat. 257; June 29, 1939, ch. 250, 53 Stat. 927, provided for expiration of this chapter on June 30, 1942.

§715m. Cooperation between Secretary of the Interior and Federal and State authorities

The Secretary of the Interior, in carrying out this chapter, is authorized to cooperate with Federal and State authorities.

(June 25, 1946, ch. 472, §3, 60 Stat. 307.)

Codification

Section was not enacted as a part act Feb. 22, 1935, which comprises this chapter.

Delegation of Functions

Delegation of President's authority to Secretary of the Interior, see note set out under section 715j of this title.