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Citizens for A Safe Environment and Environmental Coaliation on Nuclear Power v. Atomic Energy Commission

decided: December 11, 1973.

CITIZENS FOR A SAFE ENVIRONMENT AND THE ENVIRONMENTAL COALIATION ON NUCLEAR POWER, PETITIONERS,
v.
ATOMIC ENERGY COMMISSION, RESPONDENT METROPOLITAN EDISON COMPANY JERSEY CENTRAL POWER & LIGHT COMPANY AND PENNSYLVANIA ELECTRIC COMPANY, INTERVENORS



APPEAL ON PETITION FOR REVIEW OF AN ORDER OF THE ATOMIC ENERGY COMMISSION.

McLaughlin, Gibbons and Rosenn, Circuit Judges.

Author: Gibbons

Opinion OF THE COURT

GIBBONS, Circuit Judge.

This case is before us on a petition, filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2342(4) and 42 U.S.C. § 2239, to review an order of the Atomic Energy Commission. The petitioners, Citizens For A Safe Environment and The Environmental Coalition on Nuclear Power, were permitted by the Atomic Energy Commission to intervene in a proceeding for the granting of a facility operating license for a nuclear electrical energy generating station filed by Metropolitan Edison Company, Jersey Central Power and Light Company and Pennsylvania Electric Company. Those applicants were granted intervention in this court, and have taken the same position as the respondent Commission. The Commission determined that the petitioners were, or had members who were, "person[s] whose interest may be affected by [the licensing] proceeding." 42 U.S.C. § 2239. That determination is not before us. Petitioners filed with the Commission a pleading entitled "Financial and Technical Assistance," which the Commission treated as a motion. In that pleading petitioners requested:

"5. Intervenors request financial assistance for legal fees, technical experts, and witnesses in the amount of $30,000.00 under such conditions and reasonable regulations established by the Commission to assure that the said monetary grant is properly and appropriately spent so as to insure full and complete hearings in the above captioned matter in the most expeditious way."

This pleading did not allege that the petitioners were indigent.*fn1 The Commission denied petitioners' motion, stating:

Petitioners' filing entitled "Financial and Technical Assistance", whether considered as a mere request or as a formal motion, is hereby denied. The Commission has neither statutory nor regulatory authority which would authorize the grant of assistance which the petitioners seek.

It is so ORDERED.

From that order petitioners seek review.

All parties contend that the case is properly before us. The parties shared contention does not, however, relieve us of the obligation of making an independent determination of our jurisdiction. The starting point is the Administrative Orders Review Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2342, which provides:

The court of appeals has exclusive jurisdiction to enjoin, set aside, suspend (in whole or in part), or to determine the validity of--

(4) all final orders of the Atomic Energy Commission made reviewable by ...


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