OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – As Oklahomans’ utility bills continue to rise following a devastating winter storm in 2021, one of our neighboring states is fighting back against those rate hikes.
Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach filed a $50 million lawsuit against an energy company in Kansas for manipulation of natural gas markets during the February 2021 winter storm.
In the lawsuit, Kobach says Macquarie Energy purchased natural gas from the state’s primary supplier at the highest rate ever paid to the company. Then, Kobach says the company passed artificially inflated costs onto its customers.
The lawsuit also notes that the company’s net profit projects for the year jumped 10% after the storm.
Now, an Oklahoma Corporation Commissioner is calling for an investigation into Oklahoma’s utility costs.
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.
“If Kansas can do it, so can we. The people of Oklahoma are already paying through the nose; they deserve to know the truth about these high bills, and maybe, just maybe, get some of it back,” Oklahoma Corporation Commissioner Bob Anthony wrote.
Oklahoma Corporation Commissioner Bob Anthony says he has been calling for an investigation into possible ‘market manipulation’ but has been shut down.
“While the Kansas Corporation Commission is investigating and addressing natural gas market manipulation during Winter Storm Uri head-on, the Oklahoma Corporation Commission continues to insist on sticking its head in the sand,” Anthony wrote.
Earlier this week, Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond and the Oklahoma Corporation Commission voted to hire an outside official to re-examine just how high natural gas costs were after that winter storm.