Appeal from the Order of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission in case of Petition of the Woodland Road Association (formerly captioned as Chatham College) for an Exemption from the Commission's Outdoor Gas Light Ban at 52 Pa. Code § 59.62(h), No. P-810305.
Gordon David Fisher, Titus, Marcus & Shapira, for petitioner.
Kandace Foust Melillo, Assistant Counsel, with her, Louise A. Knight, Deputy Chief Counsel, and Charles F. Hoffman, Chief Counsel, for respondent.
Amy M. A. Klodowski, for intervenor, Equitable Gas Company.
Judges Williams, Jr., Barry and Colins, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Barry. This decision was reached prior to the resignation of Judge Williams, Jr.
[ 87 Pa. Commw. Page 499]
This appeal results from an order of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (Commission) which reversed an initial decision of an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) and denied petitioner Woodland Road Association's request for an exemption from the Commission's ban on outdoor gas lighting.
Because of the natural gas shortage in the 1970's, Congress passed the Power Plant and Industrial Fuel Use Act of 1978, 42 U.S.C. § 8301, which banned the use of natural gas for outside lighting. For various reasons, however, termination of such lighting was not required until January 1, 1982. By that time, Congress amended the 1978 Act to exclude residential outdoor gas lighting from the federal ban. Accordingly, the Commission adopted the following regulation: "No jurisdictional gas utility shall supply natural gas for use in outdoor lighting except to residential customers. . . ." 52 Pa. Code § 59.62(h) (emphasis added).
The Commission adopted the following relevant findings of fact of the ALJ:
1. Woodland Road Association is a private driveway in the 14th Ward of the City of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.
2. Woodland Road has been maintained by the residents owning property along Woodland Road, which has included the installation and maintenance of outdoor natural gas lighting.
3. Woodland Road Association is a voluntary unincorporated association.
4. There are 20 outdoor gas lights which are subject of this proceeding, which are situated at ...