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PEOPLES NATURAL GAS COMPANY v. PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION (03/07/89)

decided: March 7, 1989.

THE PEOPLES NATURAL GAS COMPANY, PETITIONER
v.
PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, in the case of In Re: Application of the Apollo Gas Company for approval to offer, render, furnish or supply natural gas service to the public in the Borough of Ford City and the Township of Manor, in Armstrong County, No. A-00120450.

COUNSEL

Dennis J. Lewis, with him, Robert M. Lucas and Laura A. Meaden, Alder, Cohen & Grigsby, P.C., and William P. Boswell, for petitioner.

Patricia Krise Bilzi, Assistant Counsel, with her, Bohdan R. Pankiw, Deputy Chief Counsel and Daniel P. Delaney, Chief Counsel, for respondent.

Kenneth Zielonis, with him, Norman James Kennard, Tucker Arensberg, P.C., for Apollo Gas Company, intervenor.

Bernard A. Ryan, Jr., Dechert, Price & Rhoads, for Eljer Plumbingware Division, Household Manufacturing, Inc., intervenor.

President Judge Crumlish, Jr., Judge McGinley, and Senior Judge Narick, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by President Judge Crumlish, Jr.

Author: Crumlish

[ 124 Pa. Commw. Page 61]

Peoples Natural Gas Company (Peoples) appeals a Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (Commission) order granting Apollo Gas Company (Apollo) a temporary certificate of public convenience. We reverse.

This action arises from this Court's June 3, 1988 en banc Order and Opinion in Peoples Natural Gas Co. v. Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, 116 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 512, 542 A.2d 606 (1988) (Colins, J., dissenting) (Peoples I). Although the factual and procedural history are detailed in that opinion, a brief review is necessary.

History

Peoples initially appealed a Commission order authorizing Apollo to serve Eljer Plumbingware's (Eljer) Ford City plant. This Court held that Apollo's acceptance of a certificate of public convenience on the condition that it "confine and restrict" service to three plants other than Eljer's, limited its service to the terms of that certificate. We held, therefore, that Apollo was unable to service the Eljer plant.

Approximately two weeks after our Order, Apollo applied for a temporary certificate of public convenience, seeking authorization to serve the Ford City "public." Eljer and Apollo then filed a joint petition for issuance of an interim emergency order, seeking immediate authority to serve the area, including Eljer's plant.

Four days after a hearing on the joint petition, Administrative Law Judge Louis Cocheres recommended that the commission deny the petition because neither Apollo nor Eljer proved the existence of an emergency or irreparable harm. The Commission, however, ...


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