Governor Stitt To Go To Washington D.C. To Get Help With Rising Utility Costs

Tuesday, February 23rd 2021, 5:21 am
By: Katelyn Ogle

Governor Kevin Stitt said he’ll be traveling to Washington D.C. Tuesday to get help make sure Oklahomans aren't stuck with massive utility bills after last week's winter storm.

State leaders said they have three goals. They want to get energy prices down, get help from the U.S. government, and make sure you don't have to pay for the expensive utilities all at once.

“This is not acceptable to the house of representatives to have skyrocketing utility rates,” Speaker Charles McCall, R-Atoka, said.

State leaders said they want to bring those energy bills down by preventing price gouging. Instead of paying for higher utility prices at the end of a single month, officials want to spread that cost out over several months.

“Those costs that are ultimately passed along won't be passed along immediately,” state energy secretary Ken Wagner said.

State leaders said last weeks cold was freezing off pipelines and processing plants. That rarely happens in Oklahoma and it's something the state didn't prepare for.

“It was freezing off pipelines. It was freezing off processing plants,” Oklahoma Corporation Commission director of public utilities Brandy Wreath said. “These are things that typically do not happen in Oklahoma and we were never expected to be prepared for because this type of event had not occurred.”

Right now, officials don't want to guess how high our bills could get.

“We do know that it's going to reach into the billions of dollars,” Wreath said. “It was multiples of months’ worth of spending in just a few days. This was a very significant event.” 

Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter said he’s urging utility companies to call off automatic payments for now, to make sure Oklahomans aren’t paying the high utility bills without knowing.