(a) Any person, partnership, or corporation may request advice from the Commission with respect to a course of action which the requesting party proposes to pursue. The Commission will consider such requests for advice and inform the requesting party of the Commission's views, where practicable, under the following circumstances.
(1) The matter involves a substantial or novel question of fact or law and there is no clear Commission or court precedent; or
(2) The subject matter of the request and consequent publication of Commission advice is of significant public interest.
(b) The Commission has authorized its staff to consider all requests for advice and to render advice, where practicable, in those circumstances in which a Commission opinion would not be warranted. Hypothetical questions will not be answered, and a request for advice will ordinarily be considered inappropriate where:
(1) The same or substantially the same course of action is under investigation or is or has been the subject of a current proceeding involving the Commission or another governmental agency, or
(2) An informed opinion cannot be made or could be made only after extensive investigation, clinical study, testing, or collateral inquiry.