IN THE years 1902-1905 popular antagonism toward the country's great industrial combinations was on the increase, and the political scene reflected this fact. The Industrial Commission had recommended measures to help differentiate the "good" combinations from the "bad" and urged that the Interstate Commerce Act be strengthened. President Theodore. Roosevelt's program for obtaining legislation in line with these recommendations was aided by the public's hostility to Standard Oil and heightened by writers who probed the origins of its power and focused attention on its social consequences.
While Standard Oil's predominant position in the petroleum industry was becoming a national political issue of the first magnitude, little public attention was paid to the role of pipelines in sustaining that position. As in the past, the complexities of intra-industry structure did not seem well adapted for the purposes popular writers had in mind. Moreover, since the establishment of the Pure Oil Company, complaints against the exercise of Standard Oil's pipeline power in the Appalachian field had subsided to a murmur; nor were there expressions of major grievances in the Lima-Indiana