An act which the legislature passed in 1956 (Ga. L. 1956, Vol. 1, p. 104) provides that no person, firm or corporation, except municipal corporations and counties of this State, shall construct or operate in intrastate commerce within this State any pipeline for the transportation, distribution, or sale of natural or manufactured gas without first obtaining from the Georgia Public Service Commission a certificate of public convenience and necessity. Subsequently, on October 12, 1956, Georgia Coastal Natural Gas Corporation, a Georgia corporation, filed with the Georgia Public Service Commission an application for a certificate of public convenience and necessity to construct and operate a gas pipeline system in a specified area of southeast Georgia embracing 24 counties and a part of 4 others. The application for such a certificate was made pursuant to the provisions of the intrastate pipeline act of 1956, and to the rules which the commission adopted pursuant to section 8 thereof. South Georgia Natural Gas Company, also a Georgia corporation, interposed objections in writing to a grant of the certificate so applied for on several grounds, one of which was that the act under which the application was made is "invalid and unconstitutional." After the applicant and the objector had introduced their evidence, the commission on March 29, 1957, granted the certificate applied for, but expressly retained jurisdiction of the proceeding for the purpose of granting such further order or orders as to it might seem meet and proper. Thereafter, on July 22, 1957, South Georgia Natural Gas Company filed a suit in the Superior Court of Fulton County against Georgia Public Service Commission, its five members, both in their individual and official capacities, and Georgia Coastal Natural Gas Corporation. Its three-count petition, as later amended, sought to enjoin and set aside the defendant commission's order of March 29, 1957, which granted to the
1. Before a statute can be attacked by anyone on the ground of its unconstitutionality, he must show that its enforcement is an infringement upon his right of person or property, and that such infringement results from the unconstitutional feature of the statute upon which he bases his attack. Reid v. Mayor &c. of Eatonton, 80 Ga. 755 (6 S. E. 602); Plumb v. Christie, 103 Ga. 686 (30 S. E. 759, 42 L. R. A. 181); Wallace v. City of Atlanta, 200 Ga. 749 (38 S.E.2d 596); Villyard v. Regents of University System of Ga., 204 Ga. 517 (50 S.E.2d 313); West v. Housing Authority of Atlanta, 211 Ga. 133, 136 (84 S.E.2d 30); Southern Ry. Co. v. King, 217 U.S. 524, 534 (30 Sup. Ct. 594, 54 L. ed. 868); Plymouth Coal Co. v. Pennsylvania, 232 U.S. 531 (34 Sup. Ct. 359, 58 L. ed. 713). He must show that the alleged unconstitutional feature of the statute injures him, and so operates as to deprive him of rights protected by the Constitution of this State or by the Constitution of the United States, or by both. Cooper v. Rollins,
2. The amended petition in the instant case alleges that the gas pipeline act of 1956 offends that part of article 7, section 7, paragraph 5, of the Constitution of 1945 which empowers the Georgia Public Service Commission to regulate the rates and service of any gas utility plant which a county operates beyond its limits, or the rates and service of any gas utility plant which a municipality operates beyond the limits of the county in which it is located, when any such county or municipal utility is financed from the proceeds of revenue-anticipation certificates. And it also alleges that the act of 1956 offends the due-process and equal-protection clauses of the Constitution of the United States. The plaintiff contends that these constitutional provisions are violated by the act because and only because municipalities and counties of this State are expressly excepted from its regulatory terms. Assuming that this feature of the act does render it unconstitutional, nevertheless, the plaintiff will not be heard to raise these constitutional questions unless the act operates in such a way as to injure it; and since this is not a case where any county or any municipality of this State is operating a gas pipeline facility, or seeks to do so under the provisions of the act of 1956, it is clear to us that the plaintiff is not injured in any way by the exclusion of municipalities and counties from the provisions and the operation of the act; this being true, it is not in a position to attack its validity on either of these alleged grounds.
3. The plaintiff also attacks the validity of the act on the ground that it offends article 1, section 8, paragraph 3 of the Constitution of the United States, which gives to Congress exclusive power to regulate commerce among the several States. As previously pointed out, the plaintiff has no standing to attack the validity of the act on this ground in the absence of a
4. Since the plaintiff is not one who is adversely affected by the order which the commission granted on Georgia Coastal Natural Gas Corporation's application for a certificate of public convenience and necessity, it will not be heard to question the sufficiency of the evidence upon which it was granted; and this is true even though it was permitted by the commission to interpose objections to the application and to introduce evidence in support of such objections. In this connection, see Pittsburgh & West Virginia Ry. Co. v. United States, 281 U.S. 479 (50 Sup. Ct. 378, 74 L. ed. 980, 983).
5. The judgment complained of is not erroneous for any reason assigned.
Judgment affirmed. All the Justices concur.