Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter has taken his opposition to the giant Wind Catcher Wind farm in the Panhandle another step, this time filing a motion in support of the city of Bixby and its opposition to the project’s transmission lines.
Hunter filed a motion with the Oklahoma Corporation Commission supporting Bixby’s opposition after Public Service Company of Oklahoma changed the original route of the transmission line through Osage County. When PSO notified residents and city officials by mail last month of the new route, it led to the movement against the route.
Bixby city leaders met with Hunter last week and this week, he joined their cause.
“I stand in support of the rights of the affected landowners and residents to have their voices and concerns heard by the commissioners,” Attorney General Hunter said. “This is a clear burden for the Bixby community and stands to hinder economic development in our state. I want to ensure the city’s interests are properly addressed.
“From the beginning, our position has been that Wind Catcher does not meet the requirements for preapproval and cost recovery and should be denied by the commission. We also want to ensure customers are protected if PSO moves forward, with or without commission preapproval. Not hearing from residents along the new route would be a disservice to this great community.”
The motion requests the Corporation Commission postpone a July 2 hearing to give the city more time to review the case and express its concerns to the commissioners.
Attorney General Hunter said because Bixby residents weren’t notified until last month of the new route, they were effectively disallowed from participating in any previous public hearings before the commission.
It’s not the first time Hunter has been critical of PSO and the Wind Catcher project. In the past, he charged PSO has failed on several fronts to qualify for preapproval and cost recovery, including failure to comply with the OCC’s competitive bidding rules, the inability to show an actual need for the additional generation capacity from the project, and unrealistic assumptions as the basis for PSO’s estimated ratepayer savings.
His opposition has been joined by the OCC’s administrative law judge and the public utility division.
To read Attorney General Hunter’s response in support of the city of Bixby, click here.