In December 1973, the Public Service Commission of New York (PSC) (defendant) ordered electric utilities in New York to cease all advertising that promoted the use of electricity. This was based on the PSC’s finding that New York did not have sufficient fuel resources to continue furnishing customers’ demands for electricity during the winter months. Three years later, after the fuel shortage ceased, the PSC requested comments from the public on its proposal to continue the ban on promotional advertising. Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation (CHGEC) (plaintiff) opposed the ban on First Amendment grounds. After reviewing public comments, the PSC extended the prohibition until 1977. CHGEC brought suit in state court seeking to overturn the prohibition on First Amendment grounds. The state court upheld the prohibition, and the court of appeals affirmed. CHGEC appealed to the United States Supreme Court.