State Corporation Commission Official Disagrees With OG&E’s Plan To Recoup Financial Losses After 2021 Winter Storm

News 9 - July 19, 2022 5:11 pm

OKLAHOMA CITY – 

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission‘s vice chairman is slamming OG&E’s plan to recoup fuel costs from the 2021 winter storm.

The arctic blast left millions in Texas without power and sent natural gas prices skyrocketing.

Electric companies nationwide were paying double — even triple — the price of fuel.

OG&E’s plan to recover $760 million from the storm has been approved, which means customers will pay it off over the next 20 years.

Vice chairman Bob Anthony said that plan was grossly misrepresented and will actually cost 57 percent more per month than originally proposed.

Anthony also said there’s an additional $300 million in incentives in addition to fees not originally disclosed.

After this story was published, OG&E released the following statement to News 9 Tuesday afternoon.

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.

 

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