AG Won’t Challenge Corporation Commission Judge over OGE Rate Case

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt indicates his office will not challenge the recommendation of an administrative law judge at the State Corporation Commission who recommended the commission deny Pruitt’s bid to include $500,000 as consumer expenses so he could challenge a $92 million dollar rate hike request by OGE .

Aaron Cooper, a spokesman for Pruitt explained the Attorney General wanted the commission to assess “the Attorney General’s reasonable costs for expert analysis on behalf of OGE’s customers as a recoverable expense.”

“The Administrative Law Judge found that the Attorney General’s expert costs are not a recoverable expense, and therefore, the Attorney General will pay for the expert analysis required to protect the ratepayers out of his budget,” added Cooper.

ALJ Ben Jackson issued his recommendation Jan. 14 after holding a hearing on the motion of the Attorney General.

“The AG admits that it does not have a constitutional or statute provision expressly granting expert witness fees in a general rate proceeding for an energy utility, but the AG submits that expert witness fees are necessary due to the complexicites of OGE application, that the Commissino has implicit power to award expert witness fees, and that the Commission granted such fees recently in a PSO general rate case,” wrote the judge.

The OGE Shareholders Association also challenged Pruitt saying such a move would bypass the legislature and eliminate the check and balance of an Executive veto of undesirable revenue bills.


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