No public utility shall issue any security, or assume any obligation or liability as guarantor, indorser, surety, or otherwise in respect of any security of another person, unless and until, and then only to the extent that, upon application by the public utility, the Commission by order authorizes such issue or assumption of liability. The Commission shall make such order only if it finds that such issue or assumption (a) is for some lawful object, within the corporate purposes of the applicant and compatible with the public interest, which is necessary or appropriate for or consistent with the proper performance by the applicant of service as a public utility and which will not impair its ability to perform that service, and (b) is reasonably necessary or appropriate for such purposes. The provisions of this section shall be effective six months after August 26, 1935.
The Commission, after opportunity for hearing, may grant any application under this section in whole or in part, and with such modifications and upon such terms and conditions as it may find necessary or appropriate, and may from time to time, after opportunity for hearing and for good cause shown, make such supplemental orders in the premises as it may find necessary or appropriate, and may by any such supplemental order modify the provisions of any previous order as to the particular purposes, uses, and extent to which, or the conditions under which, any security so theretofore authorized or the proceeds thereof may be applied, subject always to the requirements of subsection (a) of this section.
No public utility shall, without the consent of the Commission, apply any security or any proceeds thereof to any purpose not specified in the Commission’s order, or supplemental order, or to any purpose in excess of the amount allowed for such purpose in such order, or otherwise in contravention of such order.
The Commission shall not authorize the capitalization of the right to be a corporation or of any franchise, permit, or contract for consolidation, merger, or lease in excess of the amount (exclusive of any tax or annual charge) actually paid as the consideration for such right, franchise, permit, or contract.
Subsection (a) shall not apply to the issue or renewal of, or assumption of liability on, a note or draft maturing not more than one year after the date of such issue, renewal, or assumption of liability, and aggregating (together with all other then outstanding notes and drafts of a maturity of one year or less on which such public utility is primarily or secondarily liable) not more than 5 per centum of the par value of the other securities of the public utility then outstanding. In the case of securities having no par value, the par value for the purpose of this subsection shall be the fair market value as of the date of issue. Within ten days after any such issue, renewal, or assumption of liability, the public utility shall file with the Commission a certificate of notification, in such form as may be prescribed by the Commission, setting forth such matters as the Commission shall by regulation require.
The provisions of this section shall not extend to a public utility organized and operating in a State under the laws of which its security issues are regulated by a State commission.
Nothing in this section shall be construed to imply any guarantee or obligation on the part of the United States in respect of any securities to which the provisions of this section relate.
Any public utility whose security issues are approved by the Commission under this section may file with the Securities and Exchange Commission duplicate copies of reports filed with the Federal Power Commission in lieu of the reports, information, and documents required under sections 77g, 78l, and 78m of title 15.