Subpoena deadline met by Corporation Commission?

Attorney General Gentner Drummond speaks during a press conference at the state capitol in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Tuesday, July 18, 2023.

(Chris Landsberger)


Monday was the deadline for the Oklahoma Corporation Commission to surrender email communications from throughout the agency to the Attorney General in his widening probe of the energy costs of the 2021 Winter Storm Yuri.

Contacted late Monday, a spokesman for Attorney General Gentner Drummond indicated there would be no release of information regarding whether the extensive emails had been surrendered by the Corporation Commissioners and their entire agency.

” Without getting into specifics, I can say the Corporation Commission has been cooperative and compliant regarding the information requested,” stated Phil Bacharach to an email inquiry by OK Energy Today.

Drummond’s subpoena gave the Commission until Nov. 27 to turn over communications between Feb. 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022. It was extended to all three commissioners and the entire agency as Drummond informed the Commission’s administrative director Brandy Wreath and the Commission’s legal counsel Pat Franz, “it to be in the public interest that an investigation should be made to ascertain whether an unlawful restraint of trade or other unlawful activity took place related to natural gas commodities/trading purchases related to Winter Storm Uri.”

He sought “all communications of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission’s commissioners and their staff, and employees of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, who were involved, directly or indirectly with Winter Storm Uri cost recovery.”

The subpoena was in response to Corporation Commissioner Bob Anthony’s claims of wrongdoing and wrongful costs of the use of securitization bonds that allowed the state’s major utilities to spread the cost to ratepayers for up to 25-28 years. It also indicated the Attorney General has widened his original investigation he announced in July of market manipulation of natural gas costs to the utilities.

“As a result of the careful and diligent review of conduct during Winter Storm Uri, I discovered that several companies reaped billions of dollars at the expense of businesses and individuals who were suffering from the crippling effects of the storm,” Drummond said months ago.

“The magnitude of this scheme is staggering and unconscionable. Oklahomans can rest assured that I will do everything in my power as Attorney General to return what was taken and hold accountable those responsible.”

Information was not available late Monday from the Corporation Commission as to how the agency complied with the subpoena.