OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – An Oklahoma Corporation Commissioner issued a dissenting opinion on winter storm cost recovery plans for Oklahoma companies regarding 2021’s winter blast.
You’ll remember the arctic blast in February 2021 that brought bone chilling temperatures and soaring energy prices. Utility companies are leaving consumers to pick up the tab after paying way over the normal price for gas.
The dissenting opinion comes from the one corporation commissioner who voted against the utility plans.
Bob Anthony, who wrote the dissenting opinion, is saying “Oklahoma rate payers deserve an explanation.” In the filing he also asks “why are resulting energy costs so shockingly high and who pays how much?”
“I mean, ratepayers are being screwed,” said Nick Singer with the VOICE Coalition. “I mean, to put it bluntly, ratepayers are on the hook now for a natural disaster that they did not cause.”
In the same filing, Anthony said Oklahomans are still in the dark on the situation.
“We are being stuck with the bill for that and getting nothing in return,” Singer said. “There’s nothing that is requiring these companies now to invest in infrastructure to prepare for future cold weather or natural disasters.”
Anthony also cited a study that showed Oklahoma was among the worst of 15 states in terms of adverse cost recovery per customer.
“All of these government regulatory agencies play a part,” Singer said. “So, it’s like they can all pass the buck, but at any point, any of them can stop this.”
Two protests filed this month with the Oklahoma Supreme Court urge Attorney General John O’Connor to get involved. However, in filing back, he said no and that he supports the plan that will “save customers significant money over a likely term around 20 years.”
“The attorney general is absolutely not standing by the consumer,” Singer said. “These fuel charges are profits directly to dozens of national, large out-of-state oil and gas companies.”
One of those two protests filed cites a study from Intelometry, a retail utility data provider. It states that Oklahoma utilities paid the highest cost from the storm of any state by far and that the current plan would hit customers harder.
“We need to understand who got paid, how they got paid, why they got paid, and what we got for that,” Singer said.
Both protests can be viewed below.
We reached out to OG&E for comment and are waiting to hear back as of the posting of this story. ONG referred us to the Corporation Commission, and they referred us to Bob Anthony. He told us he would stick to his original opinion.