The Pipeline Amendment to the Hepburn Act
FEDERAL pipeline legislation came out of the struggle to obtain the passage of the Hepburn bill. The Roosevelt administration deliberately inflamed public opinion against Standard Oil and the railroads, and the desired results were obtained in Congress. Protests from the petroleum industry against any step that would imperil existing relationships in production and transportation mitigated the severity of the pipeline legislation. The resulting law, however, met continuing opposition from other integrated concerns besides Standard Oil, and eventually the United States Supreme Court had to decide on its constitutionality. The issue hinged on the relationship of private enterprise to public policy in the development and operation of American petroleum pipelines.
Proposals to declare pipelines to be common carriers subject to the Interstate Commerce Act were renewed without fanfare in early 1906. William Randolph Hearst reintroduced his bill in the House, and Congressman Joseph L. Rhinock of Kentucky offered a similar proposal on February 22. Both measures were buried in obscurity when suddenly on March 28 Senator Henry Cabot Lodge proposed an amendment to the Hepburn bill declaring interstate pipelines