It is declared that the business of transmitting and selling electric energy for ultimate distribution to the public is affected with a public interest, and that Federal regulation of matters relating to generation to the extent provided in this subchapter and subchapter III of this chapter and of that part of such business which consists of the transmission of electric energy in interstate commerce and the sale of such energy at wholesale in interstate commerce is necessary in the public interest, such Federal regulation, however, to extend only to those matters which are not subject to regulation by the States.
The term “public utility” when used in this subchapter and subchapter III of this chapter means any person who owns or operates facilities subject to the jurisdiction of the Commission under this subchapter (other than facilities subject to such jurisdiction solely by reason of section 824e(e), 824e(f), 824i, 824j, 824j–1, 824k, 824o, 824o–1, 824p, 824q, 824r, 824s, 824t, 824u, or 824v of this title).
No provision in this subchapter shall apply to, or be deemed to include, the United States, a State or any political subdivision of a State, an electric cooperative that receives financing under the Rural Electrification Act of 1936 (7 U.S.C. 901 et seq.) or that sells less than 4,000,000 megawatt hours of electricity per year, or any agency, authority, or instrumentality of any one or more of the foregoing, or any corporation which is wholly owned, directly or indirectly, by any one or more of the foregoing, or any officer, agent, or employee of any of the foregoing acting as such in the course of his official duty, unless such provision makes specific reference thereto.