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Chemehuevi Tribe of Indians v. Federal Power Comm'n

Citation: 5 ELR 20224
No. No. 73-1380, 420 U.S. 395/7 ERC 1529/(U.S., 03/03/1975) Vacated

Thermal-electric power plants ("steam plants") are not subject to FPC licensing under the Federal Power Act. The text of the statute and its legislative history indicate clearly that Congress intended the FPC to have jurisdiction over hydroelectric power plants only. The FPC's longstandings construction of the Act to this effect is also entitled to great weight, particularly since Congress did not indicate dissatisfaction with it when amending other portions of the statute. The Federal Power Act was intended to grant licensing authority over plants which use water from navigable streams to generate electricity directly, not those which use such water only to cool and condense steam. The section of the statute which prohibits the unlicensed use of "surplus water" from government dams was not intended to broaden that grant of authority.

Counsel for Petitioners Chemehuevi Tribe of Indians, et al.
Joseph J. Brecher
John W. Echohawk
Native American Rights Fund
1506 Broadway
Boulder, Colo. 80302

Counsel for Petitioners Federal Power Commission, et. al.
Robert H. Bork Solicitor General
Lawrence G. Wallace Deputy Solicitor General
Mark L. Evans
Department of Justice
Washington, D.C. 20530

Leo E. Forquer General Counsel
Drexel D. Journey Deputy General Counsel
George W. McHenry, Jr. Solicitor
Daniel Goldstein Asst. General Counsel
Richard A. Oliver
Lois D. Cashell
Robert A. Nelson, Jr.
Federal Power Commission
Washington, D.C. 20426

Counsel for Petitioners Arizona Public Service Company, et. al.
Northcutt Ely
Watergate Six Hundred Building
Washington, D.C. 20037

MR. JUSTICE DOUGLAS took no part in the consideration or decision of these cases.