Mississippi Public Service Com'n v. Municipal Energy Agency of Mississippi, 55762

Citation463 So.2d 1056
Decision Date23 January 1985
Docket NumberNo. 55762,55762
PartiesMISSISSIPPI PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION, et al. v. MUNICIPAL ENERGY AGENCY OF MISSISSIPPI.
CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Mississippi

Bennett E. Smith, Jackson, for appellants.

David R. Hunt, Sullivan, Hunt, Spell & Henson, Clarksdale, for appellee.

En Banc.

WALKER, Presiding Justice, for the Court:

This is an appeal from the Circuit Court of Leflore County, Mississippi wherein summary judgment was granted upon motion of appellee, Mississippi Energy Agency of Mississippi (hereinafter MEAM). Cross motion of appellant, Mississippi Public Service Commission (hereinafter PSC) for summary judgment was denied.

MEAM is a political subdivision of the State of Mississippi organized to supply electric power and energy to the cities of Canton, Clarksdale, Durant, Greenwood, Itta Bena, Kosciusko, Leland and Yazoo City. MEAM was created as a joint agency pursuant to section 9(1) Chapter 363, Mississippi Law 1978.

Mississippi Code Annotated section 77-5-713 (Supp.1984) of that Act made provision for application for licenses, permits, certificates or approvals. That section further stated in part:

... provided, however, nothing herein contained shall be construed to require a municipality to obtain any license, certificate, permit, or approval from the public service commission of Mississippi.

In Mississippi Code Annotated section 77-5-725(r) (Supp.1984) under "Rights and powers of joint agencies", it is provided:

(r) To apply to the appropriate agencies of the state, the United States or any state thereof, and to any other proper agency for construct, maintain and operate projects in accordance with, and to obtain, hold and use, such licenses, permits certificates or approvals in the same manner as any other person or operating unit of any other person; provided, however, nothing herein contained shall be construed to require the joint agency to obtain any permit, license, certificate or approval from the public service commission of Mississippi.

The question presented on this appeal is whether or not the Municipal Energy Agency of Mississippi (MEAM) must obtain a certificate of public convenience and necessity from the Mississippi Public Service Commission for the purpose of construction of electric generating facilities.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

In 1956 the Mississippi Legislature enacted the Public Utilities Act to vest authority in the PSC to regulate certain public utilities. Mississippi Code Annotated section 77-3-11(1) (1972) of the Act required a certificate of public convenience and necessity be obtained from the commission before the beginning of construction of facilities to generate, transmit, or distribute electric energy. However, Mississippi Code Annotated section 77-3-1 (1972) specifically exempts public utilities owned or operated by a municipality from the provisions of the Act, except as to extension of utilities greater than one mile outside the corporate boundaries. That exemption was carried forward in the Act through the last amendment in 1983. In 1983 there was enacted section 77-3-14 (a new section), which provides:

(1) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 77-3-11 and section 77-3-13, no public utility or other person shall begin the construction of any facility for the generation and transmission of electricity to be directly or indirectly used for the furnishing of public utility service in this state, even though the facility be for furnishing the service already being rendered, without first obtaining from the commission a certificate that the public convenience and necessity requires, or will require, such construction.

If there were no other statutory provision to consider, it would appear obvious that all generation and transmissions of electricity would come under the authority of the Public Service Commission.

The controlling rule of construction dispositive of this case is that each section of the Code dealing with the same or similar subject matter must be read in pari materia and to the extent possible each section of the Code must be given effect so that the legislative intent can be determined. Atwood Chevrolet-Olds, Inc. v. Aberdeen Municipal School District, 431 So.2d 926 (Miss.1983); Lamar County School Board of Lamar County v. Saul, 359 So.2d 350 (Miss.1978). It is clear that the Legislature created the Public Service Commission for the purpose of overseeing and regulating various public utilities, including the generation and transmission...

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16 cases
  • Ryals v. Pigott
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • November 28, 1990
    ...subject matter, common sense would suggest that they be harmonized and read together. Mississippi Public Service Commission v. Municipal Energy Agency of Mississippi, 463 So.2d 1056, 1058-59 (Miss.1985). This may be done here. The 1892 statute--which became Section 51-1-3--declares public "......
  • Wilbourn v. Hobson, 92-CA-0325
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • July 29, 1992
    ...Party, 465 So.2d 1050, 1052 (Miss.1985); Allgood v. Bradford, 473 So.2d 402, 411 (Miss.1985); Mississippi Public Serv. Comm'n v. Municipal Energy Agency, 463 So.2d 1056, 1058 (Miss.1985); Andrews, 409 So.2d at 713; Burroughs, 487 So.2d at 226; see also 1 Am.Jur.2d Administrative Law Sec. 40......
  • Tallahatchie Valley Electric Power Association v. MISS. PROPANE GAS …, 2000-CA-00015-SCT.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • January 10, 2002
    ...similar subject matter must be read together, not in pari materia with the federal REAct. Mississippi Pub. Serv. Comm'n v. Municipal Energy Agency of Mississippi, 463 So.2d 1056, 1058 (Miss.1985). ¶ 18. TVEPA maintains that its investment in ServicePlus and ServicePlus' investment in DeSoto......
  • Calhoun County Bd. of Sup'rs v. Grenada Bank, 56228
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • July 20, 1988
    ...intent of the legislature may be ascertained. Allgood v. Bradford, 473 So.2d 402 (Miss.1985); Miss. Public Service Comm'n v. Municipal Energy Agency of Mississippi, 463 So.2d 1056 (Miss.1985); Andrews v. Waste Control, Inc., 409 So.2d 707 (Miss.1982); Lamar County School Board v. Saul, 359 ......
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