Interstate Commerce. What Constitutes Interstate Commerce. Taxation. Tax on Transportation of Oil in Pipe Lines within State

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  • Interstate Commerce. What Constitutes Interstate Commerce. Taxation. Tax on Transportationof Oil in Pipe Lines within StateSource: Harvard Law Review, Vol. 35, No. 5 (Mar., 1922), p. 620Published by: The Harvard Law Review AssociationStable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1328344 .Accessed: 20/05/2014 06:47

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  • 620 HARVARD LAW REVIEW

    INTERSTATE COMMERCE -WHAT CONSTITUTES INTERSTATE COMMERCE TAXATION - TAX ON TRANSPORTATION OF OIL IN PIPE LINES WITHIN STATE. A West Virginia statute provides for a tax on all oil transported in pipe lines. (I9I9 W. VA. ACTS, EXTR. SESSION, C. 5.) The plaintiff's pipe line system consists of the West Virginia portion of a trunk line running from Ohio through West Virginia into Pennsylvania, through which there flows a constant stream of oil, and a network of feeders from West Virginia wells. For oil "gathered" the producer receives a "credit balance" slip. The company must at all times have in its pipes sufficient oil to meet its "credit balances." (I9I3 W. VA. CODE, ? 3564.) The oil is piped to trunk line junction points. The producer pays, under a state tariff, a charge for "gathering" and transporting to the junctions, and a daily storage charge. On sale of the oil, the producer gives the company a "delivery order" if the sale is intrastate, a "tender of ship- ment" if interstate. The oil delivered is not that which the producer turned over to the company, but any oil of the same grade. The company holds the producers' oil at the junction points only until the trunk line is running oil of the same grade, when it is allowed to flow into the stream whether or not shipment orders have been received. "Delivery" and "shipment" orders are filled by diverting part of the stream. Of six million barrels gathered in West Virginia, one and one quarter millions were delivered in West Virginia, the remainder in Pennsylvania. The state seeks to tax the transportation to the junction points of all oil produced in West Virginia. Held, that the tax is unconstitutional as levied on the transportation of oil which ultimately left the state. The Eureka Pipe Line Co. v. Hallanan, State Tax Commissioner, U. S. Sup. Ct., Oct. Term, I92I, No. 255.

    Whether commerce is interstate or intrastate is a practical question to be determined by the facts of the particular case. See Chicago, M. & St. P. Ry. v. Iowa, 233 U. S. 334, 343; La. R. R. Comm. v. Tex. & Pac. Ry., 229 U. S. 336, 34I. In the principal case the inquiry must be whether the transportation to the junction points and the transportation beyond were separable. No oil when shipped had a predestination to give the shipment character. It might be delayed at the junction; or it might flow continuously to some point on the trunk line, either within or without the state. In this state of facts the decision of the majority, that the character of the commerce is to be deter- mined by the course which the oil in fact followed, is reasonable. But it is not unreasonable to hold with the minority that the transportation to the junc- tions was, as a practical matter, separable and intrastate. Neither decision is logically necessary; neither decision is necessary as a matter of practical judgment. The balance being so nearly even, a desire to adjust the power of the state to tax with the Federal power over interstate commerce so as not unduly to restrict either, might well have influenced the court, and led to a contrary result.

    LANDLORD AND TENANT - ASSIGNMENT AND SUBLETTING - LIABILITY FOR FAILURE OF LESSOR'S TITLE DISCOVERED AFTER AGREEMENT TO AS- SIGN. -The defendant corporation employed the plaintiff to sell certain of its leases. The plaintiff found a purchaser, to whom the defendant contracted to convey. The contract was cancelled because of a failure of title in the defendant's lessors. It was urged as one ground of defense that no covenants for title were implied in the contract to convey. Held, that judgment be entered for the defendant. Miles v. United Oil Co., 234 S. W. 209 (Ky.).

    If the contract with the prospective purchaser bound the defendant to make out a good title to him the plaintiff may recover his commission, as he has done the acts required, afnd the failure of the transaction is solely through the breach of contract of the defendant. Tanenbacum v. Boehm, I26 App. Div. 731, iii N. Y. Supp. I85; Wheelock v. Bornstein, 2I4 Mass. 595, ioi N. E.

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    Article Contentsp. 620

    Issue Table of ContentsHarvard Law Review, Vol. 35, No. 5 (Mar., 1922), pp. 485-632Margin Stocks [pp. 485-518]The Early English Statutes [pp. 519-538]Commercial Letters of Credit [pp. 539-592]NotesWill Acquiescence Validate an Irregularly Adopted State Constitutional Amendment? [pp. 593-596]Effect of Second Mortgage on the Rights of a Party Subrogated to the Security of the First Mortgagee [pp. 596-599]Rights in Literary Property [pp. 600-602]Conformity by Federal Courts to State Procedure. Rev. Stat., 914 [pp. 602-606]Judicial Determination of the Status of Foreign Governments [pp. 607-610]The Power of a Court of Equity to Order a Nonresident Defendant to Do a Positive Act in Another State [pp. 610-613]

    Recent CasesAdmiralty. Jurisdiction. State Proceedings In Rem against Foreign Vessels [pp. 613-614]Admiralty. Practice. Application of Equitable Principles. Effect of Misconduct [pp. 614-615]Constitutional Law. Making and Changing Constitutions. Effect of Acquiescence on Irregularly Adopted Amendment [p. 615]Criminal Law. Former Jeopardy. Separate Convictions for the Robbery of Two Persons on One Occasion [p. 615]Customs and Usages. Salvage. Usage of Rendering Salvage Services Gratuitously [pp. 615-616]Damages. Excessive Damages. Compulsory Remittitur [p. 616]Damages. Measure of Damages. Impaired Purchasing Power of Money [pp. 616-617]Easements. Remedy of Grantee of Easement against Owner of Servient Tenement Who Fails to Pay Taxes [p. 617]Equity. Jurisdiction over Nonresidents. Power of Equity to Order a Nonresident Defendant to Do a Positive Act in Another State [pp. 617-618]Extradition. Right to Try Man Mistakenly Seized by Army on Bandit Hunt [p. 618]Federal Courts. Relation to State Courts. Whether Review Should Be Had by Writ of Error or by Certiorari. Validity of State Statute "Drawn in Question" [pp. 618-619]Interstate Commerce. What Constitutes Interstate Commerce. Taxation. Tax on Transportation of Oil in Pipe Lines within State [p. 620]Landlord and Tenant. Assignment and Subletting. Liability for Failure of Lessor's Title Discovered after Agreement to Assign [pp. 620-621]Landlord and Tenant. Conditions and Covenants in Leases. Effect of Restriction against Assignment on Compulsory Liquidator [p. 621]Landlord and Tenant. Conditions and Covenants in Leases. "Renewal" Construed to Mean Extension [pp. 621-622]Partnership. Duties of Partners Inter Se. Secret Agreement for Future Partnership with Lessor of Firm Premises [pp. 622-623]Public Service Companies. Rights and Duties. Discrimination by Terminal Company between Transfer Companies [p. 623]Public Service Companies. Rights and Duties. Strike as an Excuse for Failure to Furnish Services [pp. 623-624]Subrogation. Effect of Second Mortgage on the Rights of a Party Subrogated to the Security of the First Mortgagee [p. 624]Trade-Marks and Trade Names. Protection Apart from Statute. Use of Trade-Mark on Genuine Goods [pp. 624-625]Wills. Alterations and Modifications. Modification of Legacies by Change of Beneficiaries in Trust Deed [p. 625]Wills. Revocation. Duplicate Wills. Loss of One of Two Duplicates in Possession of Testator [p. 626]

    Book ReviewsReview: untitled [pp. 626-630]Review: untitled [pp. 630-631]Review: untitled [pp. 631-632]Review: untitled [p. 632]

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