(a) No public utility shall issue any securities, or assume any liability or obligation as lessor, lessee, guarantor, indorser, surety, or otherwise, in respect to the securities of any other person unless and until, and then only to the extent that, upon application by such utility, and after investigation by the Commission of the purposes and uses of the proposed issue, and the proceeds thereof, or of the proposed assumption of obligation or liability in respect of the securities of any other person, the Commission by order authorizes such issue or assumption.
(b) The Commission shall make such order only if it finds that such issue or assumption is (i) for some lawful object within the corporate purposes of the public utility, (ii) is compatible with the public interest, (iii) is necessary or appropriate for or consistent with the proper performance by such utility of its service to the public and will not impair its ability to perform that service, and (iv) is reasonably necessary and appropriate for such purpose.
(c) Any such order of the Commission shall specify the purposes for which any such securities or the proceeds thereof may be used by the public utility making such application.
(d) If a public utility shall apply to the Commission for the refinancing of its outstanding shares of stock by exchanging or redeeming such outstanding shares, the exchange or redemption of such shares of any dividend rate or rates, class or classes, may be made in whole or in part, in the manner and to the extent approved by the Commission, notwithstanding any provisions of law applicable to corporations in general: Provided, that the proposed transactions are found by the Commission to be in the public interest and in the interest of consumers and investors, and provided that any redemption shall be at a price or prices, not less than par, and at a time or times, stated or provided for in the utility's charter or stock certificates. (1933, c. 307, s. 18; 1945, c. 656; 1963, c. 1165, s. 1.)