NGI The Weekly Gas Market Report / NGI All News Access

OK Attorney General Accuses OCC of Ex Parte Discussions with ONG

May 31, 1999
/ Print
| Share More
/ Text Size+

OK Attorney General Accuses OCC of Ex Parte Discussions with ONG

Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson last week accused Oklahoma Corporation Commissioners of having improper discussions with ONG during recent settlement negotiations and has asked each commissioner to recuse him/herself from the proceedings if such discussions indeed happened. None of the three commissioners agreed to do so.

The OCC last week resumed a hearing on the negotiated settlement between the commission and Oneok Inc. and its subsidiaries Oklahoma Natural Gas (ONG) and Kansas Gas Service (KGS) on rates, unbundling and competitive bidding.

Larry Lago, an aide to Commissioner Bob Anthony, said the OCC's counsel advised commissioners meetings were not inappropriate because they took place in a legislative setting, not a judicial one in which they would be ex parte and not permitted.

The settlement agreement between the OCC and Oneok consolidates two ongoing rate cases. It provides for an interim rate reduction for Oklahoma customers of ONG and KGS of $5 million on an annual basis effective with the first billing cycle in September. A final order establishing permanent rates is expected next spring.

In addition to the rate reduction for Oklahoma customers and a timetable for the unbundling process, Oneok agreed to dismiss its Oklahoma Supreme Court appeal of the commission's unbundling orders and rules after orders in the consolidated rate case become final. The Oneok challenge to the commission order has been the hold-up delaying upstream unbundling.

Settlement terms call for new effective dates for ONG's competitive bidding for gas supplies and transmission service beginning Nov. 1, 1999 and November 1, 2000, respectively.

Also contained in the agreement are procedures and timetables for setting permanent rates and the identification and designation of Oneok assets for gas transmission, distribution, gathering and storage and the process as outlined under OCC rules for obtaining the deregulation of gathering and storage assets.

Joe Fisher, Houston

©Copyright 1999 Intelligence Press, Inc. All rights reserved. The preceding news report may not be republished or redistributed in whole or in part without prior written consent of Intelligence Press, Inc.

ISSN © 2577-9877 | ISSN © 1532-1266
Comments powered by Disqus