As a result, PSO and other regulated utilities operating in the state purchased power in the spot market at exorbitant prices.
“It is vitally important that all possible steps be taken to reduce the risk of a repeat of the natural gas market turmoil last February,” Murphy said. “It is a market that is beyond the authority of the OCC. Federal authorities and the Oklahoma Attorney General are investigating this market, and the OCC will continue to work with regulated utilities on steps that could be taken to improve their fuel supply planning.
Todd Hiett also sits on the three-person commission.
“This debt was incurred during the winter storm for natural gas purchases to maintain power generation and protect life and property,” it said in a statement. “Now the cost must be paid.”
Commissioner Bob Anthony wrote a scathing three-page dissent.
“‘Traditional utility funding’ could legitimately be used to finance a new power plant, but it is unjustifiable to pay an unconstitutional and non-consensual debt retroactively imposed on residential ratepayers,” he wrote. “These bonds are like the salesman who sold you a car calls you years later and says you actually owe 40% more – BUT, he says, he’s ‘saving’ you money because it doesn’t charge you the price of a new luxury car.