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Joint Resolution of the Georgia General Assembly relative to federal regulation of utilities


Joint Resolution of the Georgia General Assembly

Mar. 2, 1953

FEDERAL REGULATION OF UTILITIES—MEMORIAL TO CONGRESS.

No. 40 (Senate Resolution No. 48).

A Resolution.

Concurring Resolution of the General Assembly of Georgia memorializing the Congress of the United States to correct and restrain the unwarranted and unintended extension of Federal authority in the field of utility regulation through the enactment of appropriate legislation and the rejection and defeat of the presently pending amendment to Section 13 of the Interstate Commerce Act as proposed in Senate Bill 281.

Whereas, the independent regulatory agencies of the Federal Government, particularly the Interstate Commerce Commission and the Federal Power Commission have purposely and persistently sought to extend the regulatory powers over public utilities, into those areas intended by Congress to be left to local control, and

Whereas, this constant accretion of this purely local authority by Federal agencies has been aided and encouraged by the strained construction and speculative reasoning of the decisions of the Supreme Court of the United State such as that in the case of the Federal Power Commission v. East Ohio Gas Company 338 US 464, upholding an order of that Commission assuming jurisdiction over a natural gas company engaged strictly in the distribution and sale of natural gas wholly within the borders of the State of Ohio. Also, the recent ruling reading into the 13th Section of the Interstate Commerce Act the power to give weight to the nation-wide passenger train deficit in overruling the order of the Florida Railroad and Public Utilities Commission and substituting its own schedule of intrastate rates for application within Florida as held in Florida Railroad and Public Utilities Commission v. Interstate Commerce Commission (Dkt. No. 9, October Term U.S. Supreme Court 1952) decided December 22, 1952, and

Whereas, under the ever-expanding construction and application of the Shreveport principle the Interstate Commerce Commission has virtually usurped the power of the States in the field of railroad rate making leaving to local authority only those matters having to do with the provision of service, and

Whereas, the amendments to Section 13 of the Act as proposed in Senate Bill 281 would invade and usurp the police powers of the State and completely strip local authority of all jurisdiction and control over all matters having to do with the provision for or curtailment of railroad depot and station facilities, side tracks, passenger train and freight train services and thus deprive the State of this last vestige of regulation over railroads.

Now therefore, be it resolved, that the Congress of the United States be and it is hereby memorialized to enact such amendatory and corrective legislation as will accurately define the respective spheres of State and Federal authority in the field of utility regulation so as to remove Federal control and interference in those areas which are now completely and adequately regulated on the State level, and that will re-state the congressional intent which has been distorted by the Supreme Court rulings, and

Be it further resolved, that the Congress be memorialized to re-state the true and original legislative intent of Section 13 of the Interstate Commerce Act so as to restore to local authority the regulation of those matters of primary local concern and that any and all such proposals as that contained in the provisions of Senate Bill 281 to further invade local authority be summarily rejected and defeated, and

Be it further resolved, that the Secretary of the Senate of Georgia and the Clerk of the House of Representatives of Georgia be instructed to transmit a copy of this memorial to the appropriate officers of the Senate and the House of Representatives of the national Congress for inclusion in the Congressional Record.

Approved March 2, 1953.

Ga. Laws 1953, pp. 403-405.