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The Nation : Signing Ends Natural Gas Price Controls

President Bush signed a bill ending a half-century of federal price controls on natural gas, an event that would have been unthinkable 15 years ago, improbable a decade ago but is almost entirely uncontroversial today. The action will have almost no short-term impact on the price of natural gas, which currently sells for less than federal price ceilings would allow. But Bush’s signing of the bill, which will phase out the remaining price controls on gas between now and 1993, reflected just how much public attitudes on economic regulation have changed in the last decade since such controls were defended as necessary consumer protections. Congress approved the decontrol bill earlier this year by a wide margin after decades during which the topic was a matter for the most bitter of arguments.


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