Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson is appealing theOklahoma Corporation Commission’s (OCC) preliminary approval of astipulation agreement between the OCC and Oneok (parent of OklahomaNatural Gas) that consolidates two ongoing rate cases and providesfor an interim rate reduction for Oklahoma customers of ONG andKansas Gas Service of $5 million per year beginning in September.The AG maintains a larger rate reduction may be in order.

Edmondson filed his appeal Monday in Oklahoma Supreme Court andsays he was denied due process and that approval of the agreementwas ambiguous and not supported by sufficient evidence and that thecommission lacks jurisdiction in the matter.

Edmondson has accused OCC Commissioner Denise Bode of ex partecommunications with ONG. However, Bode and the other twocommissioners maintain meetings with ONG were not inappropriatebecause they took place in a legislative context, not a judicialone, in which they would be ex parte (see Daily GPI May 31, 1999).

The stipulation agreement the AG is contesting sets a proceduralschedule for hearings, the topic of one of them being allocation ofOneok assets among distribution, transmission, storage, and gasgathering for the purpose of unbundling. Hearings are scheduled forJune 23 through 25, and the AG maintains that does not allow enoughtime for his staff to review financial information and preparetestimony. The OCC has filed a motion to dismiss the AG’s challengeon procedural grounds on the basis the OCC order is not a finalorder

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