OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Oklahoma Corporation Commissioner Bob Anthony is speaking out after his colleagues approved orders declaring over $6 billion of OG&E, ONG and PSO’s fuel procurement costs and expenses for 2021 to be “fair, just, reasonable and prudent,” including the historically high natural gas prices paid during the February 2021 Winter Storm.

In his 180-page dissent, Anthony says, “Giving these utilities an unqualified clean bill of health for all their calendar year 2021 fuel procurement processes and costs is improper, irresponsible, negligent, an abuse of discretion, and a slap in the face to the hardworking ratepayers of Oklahoma who will ultimately pay for them.”

The stench of these rotten deals is so pervasive, people on the outside are beginning to pinch their noses and look toward the Jim Thorpe Building with wrinkled brows wondering what the hell is going on at the Oklahoma Corporation Commission. Not only are these public injustices rotting from a putrid core of greed, public corruption and regulatory capture, but so are the various layers of whitewash that have been repeatedly and sloppily applied by their proponents and apologists over the last two years.

Bob Anthony, Oklahoma Corporation Commission Vice-Chair

Anthony calls the orders approved today “shameful public policy and legal malpractice” and says they “make a mockery of fairness and the judicial process.”

Anthony accuses his fellow Commissioners of hurrying to ‘fast-track’ the 2021 prudence review cases.

“Unnecessarily hurrying these ‘prudence review’ cases through in the face of mounting evidence of wrongdoing makes no lawfully or economically justifiable sense,” Anthony writes. “But if you are engaging in a multi-billion-dollar cover-up, it makes perfect sense!”

Anthony says there has never been a proper or thorough ‘prudence review’ of the 2021 fuel procurement processes and costs in full compliance with relevant State Statutes and OCC Rules. 

“It appears that not a single dollar of these utilities’ billions in 2021 fuel costs and expenses was disallowed for imprudence – not $1!” Anthony continued. “That alone probably says all that needs to be said about the thoroughness and legal validity of these ‘comprehensive’ calendar-year-2021 prudence reviews.”

Anthony concludes:

Make no mistake, this is damage control.  Today’s orders are yet another layer of whitewash – another attempt to cover up, not only the initial mistakes and wrongdoing during the storm, but now the subsequent and ongoing wrongdoing committed in the last year+ in an attempt to conceal what came before.  But the truth will not stay buried, and the public deserves to know what happened.

Oklahomans deserve honesty and integrity from their public officials and competence and transparency in the regulatory processes they oversee.  They have been shortchanged. 

Bob Anthony

Read his full dissent:

In Oklahoma, customers have been required to pay more each month on their utility bills to recoup the costs of natural gas purchased at a premium. Those fees will be tacked onto our bills for the next 28 years.