OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Oklahoma Corporation Commission Vice Chairman Bob Anthony is once again voicing his dissenting opinion regarding the approval of Oklahoma Gas and Electric Company’s plan for fuel cost recovery from the February 2021 winter storm.
In December 2021, the OCC approved a plan that would raise customer rates by about $2 per month over the next 28 years so OG&E can pay back the $760 million owed to suppliers.
This is not the first time Anthony has issued a dissenting opinion on the matter. In March 2022, he voiced his reluctance for the plan in a separate opinion.
Anthony did not mince words in his most recent dissent.
“In short, the results of OG&E’s winter storm bond issuance are simply horrifying,” states Anthony in the filing.
He lists three main bullet points in his opinion.
- The average monthly impact on customer bills will actually be 57% higher than the $2.12 deceitfully announced by the two commissioners who approved the bond financing.
- The much-touted “low” 2.58% bond interest rate actually topped out at 5.087% near the end of the bonds’ ridiculously-long, multi-decade term.
- The bogus claims of securitization “savings” conspicuously disintegrate in the face of about $600 million in interest expenses – some $300 million more than was so optimistically forecast
You can read the full dissent below.
OG&E sent KFOR the following statement:
Oklahoma lawmakers created and approved the securitization law, the Oklahoma Corporation Commission issued an order approving the sale of the bonds after the Administrative Law Judge found OG&E costs to be prudent, and the Oklahoma Supreme Court ultimately ruled the entire process was constitutional and could proceed. We appreciate Oklahoma lawmakers’ efforts to minimize the immediate and sustained costs for customers related to the winter storm.
Commissioner Anthony is correct that the impact on the average residential customer rose from an estimated $2.12 per month to an estimated $3.34 per month. That change is solely attributable to rising interest rates that have occurred since the Commission issued its decision in December 2021.
Unfortunately, after the Commission issued its order in December 2021, the Supreme Court process was drawn out for several months because of protests encouraged and supported by securitization opponents. In that time when the protests were being considered by the Supreme Court, interest rates rose significantly due to market forces outside of anyone’s control.
Because OG&E was able to procure fuel for our power plants during the storm, we kept the heat and lights on for our customers, helped supply power to the SPP grid, and avoided the fate of other states that experienced sustained blackouts and significant loss of life.Aaron Cooper, Corporate Communications Manager
OG&E’s Vice President of Public and Regulatory Affairs also released the following statement:
“While the legislation authorizing securitization of Uri debt was not something OGE sought, we do believe it is helpful to mitigate the impact on customers. It is unfortunate the motives of commissioners , legislators, and the Governor continue to be questioned for developing and implementing a solution that was designed to lessen the burden on Oklahomans. Securitization of Uri debt is settled law, upheld by the Oklahoma Supreme Court. Continued attempts to cast the issue in a negative light appear to serve no public purpose.”Ken Miller