Appeal from the Order of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission in case of United States Steel Corporation v. The Peoples Natural Gas Company, No. C-79030772.
Henry M. Wick, Jr., with him Charles J. Streiff, Wick, Vuono & Lavelle, and J. F. Wilson, for petitioner.
Robert A. Christianson, Assistant Counsel, with him Steven A. McClaren, Deputy Chief Counsel, and Joseph J. Malatesta, Jr., Chief Counsel, for respondent.
Walter R. Hall, II, with him Susan L. Gordon, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, and Robert M. Jacob, for intervenor, The Peoples Natural Gas Company.
Daniel Clearfield, Assistant Consumer Advocate, with him Walter W. Cohen, Consumer Advocate, for intervenor, Walter W. Cohen, Consumer Advocate of Pennsylvania.
President Judge Crumlish, Jr. and Judges Blatt, Williams, Jr., Craig and MacPhail. Opinion by President Judge Crumlish, Jr. Judges Blatt and MacPhail dissent. Judges Mencer and Palladino did not participate in the decision in this case.
[ 69 Pa. Commw. Page 136]
United States Steel Corporation (USS) appeals from a Public Utility Commission (PUC or Commission) order dismissing USS' complaint. We affirm.
This dispute evolves from a PUC short-form order, adopted October 26, 1978, and entered October 27, 1978 (October 27th order) which authorized Peoples Natural Gas Company (Peoples or utility), a natural gas provider, to file tariffs*fn1 designed to produce total annual operating revenues of $136,610,565.00, resulting in an annual revenue increase of $3,573,974.00.*fn2 As a prerequisite to the tariff's implementation, Peoples was required to file with the Commission detailed calculations demonstrating compliance with the October 27th order. As directed, Peoples filed Supplement No. 19 to Tariff Gas -- Pa. P.U.C. No. 37
[ 69 Pa. Commw. Page 137]
(Supplement No. 19) which allegedly delineated a rate structure designed to provide the PUC-sanctioned operating revenues. At a November 21, 1978 public session, the Commission initially approved Supplement No. 19, as recommended by its technical staff which had reviewed the supplement's supporting data following two ex parte conferences with the utility. The PUC, by long-form order dated February 2, 1979, gave the tariffs final approval.
On March 20, 1979, USS filed a complaint with the PUC under Section 701 of the Public Utility Code (Code),*fn3 alleging:
First, that Supplement No. 19 failed to comply with the October 27th order in that the supplement's rates were designed to generate annual revenues in ...