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Supreme Court of the United States
April 3-4, 1952, Argued ; May 26, 1952, Decided
[*416] [**844] [***1046] MR. JUSTICE BLACK delivered the opinion of the Court.
In 1944 the Maryland Public Service Commission, the Mayor and Council of the City of Baltimore, the Baltimore County Commissioners, and [****5] several private purchasers of electric power decided to ask the Federal Power Commission for help. They requested the Commission to investigate allegedly "excessive rates" the Pennsylvania Water & Power Company (Penn Water) 2 [****6] was charging Consolidated Gas Electric Light and Power Company of Baltimore (Consolidated). The Maryland interests wanted the Federal Power Commission to reduce these charges so that the state commission could lower Consolidated's rates to its Maryland customers. The federal Commission held many months of extensive hearings and found that Penn Water had charged its customers almost three times what it should have in 1946. In that year it had a net operating income of $ 3,477,408, as contrasted with $ 1,300,672 which the Commission found would have been a fair return (5 1/4%) on a fair rate base ($ 24,774,712), allowing Penn Water "about 8.64% for common stock and surplus, which is adequate." 3 The Commission [*417] ordered [**845] Penn Water to file a new schedule of rates and charges to bring about the reductions required.
In subsequent orders the Commission denied Penn Water's applications for rehearing, rejected as insufficient new rate schedules filed by Penn Water, and itself prescribed the rate schedules which Penn Water here seeks to avoid. On review the Court of Appeals gave full consideration to Penn Water's multitudinous challenges and approved the Commission's action, one Judge dissenting. 89 U. S. App. D. C. 235, 193 F.2d 230.
Most of the numerous questions presented and decided by the Commission and the Court of Appeals are not presented here by the petitions for certiorari which we granted. 4 We are not called on to review the adequacy of the evidence to support the Commission's findings as to a fair rate base, a fair rate of return, or any other findings except insofar as our decision of several rather general questions presented might indirectly undermine some of [***1047] them. The questions we must decide are in general these: [****7]
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343 U.S. 414 *; 72 S. Ct. 843 **; 96 L. Ed. 1042 ***; 1952 U.S. LEXIS 2641 ****; 1952 Trade Cas. (CCH) P67,281
PENNSYLVANIA WATER & POWER CO. ET AL. v. FEDERAL POWER COMMISSION ET AL.
Prior History: CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA CIRCUIT. 1
The Federal Power Commission found the rates charged by petitioner for the sale of electric power at wholesale in interstate commerce unreasonable and ordered a reduction. The Court of Appeals affirmed. 89 U. S. App. D. C. 235, 193 F.2d 230. This Court granted certiorari. 342 U.S. 931. Affirmed, p. 424.
Disposition: 89 U. S. App. D. C. 235, 193 F.2d 230, affirmed.
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