In an attempt to recover the economy of the United States after the Great Depression, the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) of 1933 temporarily suspended antitrust laws, established minimum wages, eliminated child labor, maximized working hours, and strengthened labor unions. It created the National Recovery Administration (NRA), who administered the Act and attempted to develop fair competition codes for discrete industries or lines of business. The NIRA also created the Public Works Administration (PWA), which put public works programs under the control of the federal government.
The Act contained a section pertaining directly to the oil industry. It gave the President regulatory power over pipelines, interstate and foreign transport of petroleum and petroleum products, allowed for agreements between companies with presidential approval, and allowed the President to establish an administration separate from the NRA to oversee the oil code. The NIRA encompassed all fuel industries until January of 1935 when the Supreme Court of the United States invalidated the President’s authority to prohibit interstate and foreign transport of oil. In May of that same year, the Supreme Court found the entire Act unconstitutional; however, federal energy law following NIRA incorporated many of the same features.
- Institute of International Studies, Czech Republic. Documents of American History II: National Industrial Recovery Act, 1933.
- Ourdocuments.gov. National Industrial Recovery Act: Summary.
- University of Virginia. About the National Industrial Recovery Act and the National Recovery Administration.