Possible Illegal Conduct, Market Manipulation: Attorney General Investigating Utility Prices From 2021 Winter Storm

Tuesday, Attorney General Gentner Drummond said he is going after the companies that he says reaped billions of dollars from Oklahoma families and businesses. Drummond said the state's oil and gas companies and utilities were not to blame. Rather it was those who sold natural gas at exorbitant prices during the storm.

Tuesday, July 18th 2023, 6:21 pm



Tuesday, Attorney General Gentner Drummond said he is going after the companies that he says reaped billions of dollars from Oklahoma families and businesses. Drummond said the state's oil and gas companies and utilities were not to blame. Rather it was those who sold natural gas at exorbitant prices during the storm.

The attorney general's announcement follows a News 9 and Oklahoma Watch investigation into utility prices following winter storm Uri, which can be found here

Right now, Oklahomans will be paying for Winter Storm Uri for the next couple decades. For many of us it will cost us thousands of dollars before it's done.

At the height of Winter Storm Uri in February 2021 Natural Gas prices on the spot market in the Sooner State soared more than 600 times the typical price before the storm, with Oklahomans paying the highest prices in the nation.

Utilities told us they paid what they had to in order to keep the lights and heat on.

“Our primary responsibility was to maintain the electric supply to our customers and I think we did that well. We just had to pay for the gas at the levels that were available in the marketplace,” said OG&E's Director of Regulatory Policy Kimber Shoop earlier this year.

The legislature quickly passed securitization pushing the entire $2.7 billion dollars of debt the utilities had for the gas and an additional $2 billion in interest and fees to the rate payer. The costs, now added to our monthly OG&E and ONG bills for the next 28 years.

AG Drummond now says he has looked into those who sold the gas during the storm and found what he believes is market manipulation and other possible illegal conduct.

“The magnitude of this scheme is staggering and unconscionable,” he said during a press conference Tuesday. “The conduct in question is well outside the perimeters and boundaries of ordinary capitalism.”

Drummond says he is now taking bids from outside law firms to help move forward with the goal of suing those companies. If he's successful, the money he is able to recover would be deducted from our utility bills.

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