During the period 1973 through 1981, the Federal government imposed price and allocation controls of crude oil and refined petroleum products, such as gasoline and heating oil. During that period and for many years afterwards, the DOE had an enforcement program. When a firm was found to have overcharged, the DOE generally required the firm to make refunds to its customers. However, because of the price controls in place at the time and the manner in which the petroleum industry operates, it was impossible for the DOE to determine in many cases who was injured by the overcharges. In those cases involving overcharges related to the price of refined petroleum products, the Office of Hearings and Appeals instituted claims procedures that allowed customers of a firm that allegedly overcharged to file a refund application and receive a portion of the moneys collected based upon the purchase volumes. In cases involving overcharges made in sales of crude oil, the Office of Hearings and Appeals ran one nationwide refund proceeding. Until the filing deadline of June 30, 1995, purchasers of refined petroleum products could apply to the Office of Hearings and Appeals for a refund from crude oil overcharge funds.
The Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552, as amended by Pub. L. No. 104-231, requires each agency to make available to the public final opinions and orders made in the adjudication of cases. Opinions and orders created on or after November 1, 1996 must be available to the public via computer telecommunications on or before November 1, 1997. All Decisions and Orders issued after November 1, 1996 are available at this site. Refund decisions have been arranged by year, then by month of issuance. You may also search the full text of all refund decisions. This can be particularly useful if you are looking for a decision involving a particular refund applicant. Simply search for that applicant's name.