(a) Presidential declaration
The President may declare a natural gas supply emergency (or extend a previously declared emergency) if he finds that—
(1) a severe natural gas shortage, endangering the supply of natural gas for high-priority uses, exists or is imminent in the United States or in any region thereof; and
(2) the exercise of authorities under this section is reasonably necessary, having exhausted other alternatives (not including section 3363 of this title) to the maximum extent practicable, to assist in meeting natural gas requirements for such high-priority uses.
(1) Any declaration of a natural gas supply emergency (or extension thereof) under subsection (a), shall terminate at the earlier of—
(A) the date on which the President finds that any shortage described in subsection (a) does not exist or is not imminent; or
(B) 120 days after the date of such declaration of emergency (or extension thereof).
(2) Nothing in this subsection shall prohibit the President from extending, under subsection (a), any emergency (or extension thereof) previously declared under subsection (a), upon the expiration of such declaration of emergency (or extension thereof) under paragraph (1)(B).
During a natural gas emergency declared under this section, the President may, by order, prohibit the burning of natural gas by any electric powerplant or major fuel-burning installation if the President determines that—
(1) such powerplant or installation had on September 1, 1977 (or at any time thereafter) the capability to burn petroleum products without damage to its facilities or equipment and without interference with operational requirements;
(2) significant quantities of natural gas which would otherwise be burned by such powerplant or installation could be made available before the termination of such emergency to any person served by an interstate pipeline for use by such person in a high-priority use; and
(3) petroleum products will be available for use by such powerplant or installation throughout the period the order is in effect.
The President may specify in any order issued under this section the periods of time during which such order will be in effect and the quantity (or rate of use) of natural gas that may be burned by an electric powerplant or major fuel-burning installation during such period, including the burning of natural gas by an electric powerplant to meet peak load requirements. No such order may continue in effect after the termination or expiration of such natural gas supply emergency.
(e) Exemption for secondary uses
The President shall exempt from any order issued under this section the burning of natural gas for the necessary processes of ignition, startup, testing, and flame stabilization by an electric powerplant or major fuel-burning installation.
(f) Exemption for air-quality emergencies
The President shall exempt any electric powerplant or major fuel-burning installation in whole or in part, from any order issued under this section for such period and to such extent as the President determines necessary to alleviate any imminent and substantial endangerment to the health of persons within the meaning of section 7603 of title 42.
(g) Limitation on injunctive relief
(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), no court shall have jurisdiction to grant any injunctive relief to stay or defer the implementation of any order issued under this section unless such relief is in connection with a final judgment entered with respect to such order.
(A) On the petition of any person aggrieved by an order issued under this section, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia may, after an opportunity for a hearing before such court and on an appropriate showing, issue a preliminary injunction temporarily enjoining, in whole or in part, the implementation of such order.
(B) For purposes of this paragraph, subpenas for witnesses who are required to attend the District Court for the District of Columbia may be served in any judicial district of the United States, except that no writ of subpena under the authority of this section shall issue for witnesses outside of the District of Columbia at a greater distance than 100 miles from the place of holding court unless the permission of the District Court for the District of Columbia has been granted after proper application and cause shown.
For purposes of this section—
(1) The terms "electric powerplant", "powerplant", "major fuel-burning installation", and "installation" shall have the same meanings as such terms have under section 8302 of title 42.
(2) The term "petroleum products" means crude oil, or any product derived from crude oil other than propane.
(3) The term "high priority use" means any—
(A) use of natural gas in a residence;
(B) use of natural gas in a commercial establishment in amounts less than 50 Mcf on a peak day; or
(C) any use of natural gas the curtailment of which the President determines would endanger life, health, or maintenance of physical property.
(4) The term "Mcf", when used with respect to natural gas, means 1,000 cubic feet of natural gas measured at a pressure of 14.73 pounds per square inch (absolute) and a temperature of 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
(i) Use of general terms
In applying the provisions of this section in the case of natural gas subject to a prohibition order issued under this section, the term "petroleum products" (as defined in subsection (h)(2) of this section) shall be substituted for the term "heavy petroleum fuel oil" (as defined in section 717y(e)(7) of this title) if the person subject to any order under this section demonstrates to the Commission that the acquisition and use of heavy petroleum fuel oil is not technically or economically feasible.
Section was enacted as part of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978, and not as part of the Natural Gas Act which comprises this chapter.
Delegation of Functions
Functions of President under this section, except for authority to declare, extend, and terminate a natural gas supply emergency pursuant to subsecs. (a) and (b) of this section, delegated to Secretary of Energy, see section 1–102 of Ex. Ord. No. 12235, Sept. 3, 1980, 45 F.R. 58803, set out as a note under section 3364 of this title.
For definitions of terms used in this section, see section 2602 of Title 16, Conservation.