At 10:30 the Miss.S.Ct. will hear the City of Tchula and the City of Port Gibson v. The Miss. Public Service Comm’n.
Both Tchula and Post Gibson argue that their municipal gas systems which were built prior to gas to the effective date of the Mississippi Public Utilities Act, March 29, 1956, are exempt from regulation by the Mississippi Public Service Commission.
Port Gibson built its system in 1954-55. In 1955, it leased the System to the Union Gas Company. Port Gibson continued to own the System and set the rates. In April 2002, Port Gibson executed a new lease with Miss. River Gas (MRG) for a twenty year term. Unlike the 1955 lease, the 2002 lease states that rates are to be set by the PSC. In May 2013, MRG) filed a Notice of Intent to Change Rates with the Commission requesting that a uniform rate be established for all of MRG’s systems including Port Gibson. Post Gibson intervened. “[T]he Commission found that, although Port Gibson owns the System, it is in fact ‘operated’ by MRG, and MRG should be subject to PSC regulation; furthermore, that the phrase ‘owned or operated’ is ambiguous and should be interpreted to read ‘owned and operated,”’such that a municipal system is only exempt from PSC regulation if it is both owned and operated by a municipality.”
Tchula also leases its system to MRG and faces the same issue.
City of Port Gibson’s brief
Miss. Public Service Commission’s brief
Tchula’s rebuttal brief
Port Gibson’s rebuttal brief
Watch the argument here