Gas firm challenges AG’s fraud lawsuit—says he failed to challenge regulators and supreme court


The Texas natural gas distributing company sued by Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond and accused of fraud over natural gas prices during the 2021 Winter storm is asking an Osage County District Judge to dismiss the fraud lawsuit. It also suggests the AG had his chance to properly handle the gas probe and missed it.

And in so doing, ET Gathering and Processing blasted Drummond, saying he not only ignored rulings of the State Supreme Court but failed to challenge decisions of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission when his office was directly involved in the process. The firm also says Drummond’s office missed a statute of limitations to file the suit.

In a filing this week, Dallas-based ET Gathering & Processing, a firm that acquired Oklahoma City’s Enable Midstream Partners in 2021, argued that the Corporation Commission and other governmental and regulatory entitites investigated and analyzed the root cause of the jump in natural prices during the February winter storm three years ago.

“And all have reached the same conclusion: that severe cold weather was responsible,” stated the motion, which also stated the State Supreme Court determined “severe cold weather resulted in a shortage of the natural gas supply due to incredibly high demand and the cold weather preventing the gas’s extraction and transportation, which in turn, caused extraordinary natural gas costs for regulated utilities operating in Oklahoma.”

The attorneys for ET Gathering and Process went on to state that the Attorney General’s lawsuit has ignored the conclusions of other state agencies “and perhaps most conspicuously–its own support for these conclusions in these same judicial and regulatory proceedings.”

Time and time again in the motion, the lawyers for ET Gathering said the Attorney General “consistently supported” the outcomes of the Corporation Commission when it investigated the gas crisis during the storm “and never appealed or challenged the Commission’s orders.”

“In bringing this case, the State ignores the findings of the Oklahoma Supreme Court (and numerous other courts) and the Commission, and the Attorney General’s own decision to not challenge or appeal key factual findings it now attempts to avoid here,” stated the motion.

The filing also pointed out that the Commission had concluded the natural gas costs were “prudently incurred” and the AG’s office did not challenge the finding.

“The State was a party to each such adjudication, “consistently supported” their outcomes, and never appealed or challenged their findings of fact or conclusions of the law.”

They also pointed out that under the contract the firm had with the Grand River Dam Authority, the state agency for which the Attorney General represented and the reason the suit was filed in Osage County, the suit was filed in the wrong jurisdiction. The company’s contract with the GRDA established Oklahoma County as the forum to settle any dispute.

Further, the motion to dismiss made the claim that the Attorney General’s claims of fraud, constructive fraud, negligence, unjust enrichment and bad faith breach of contract “are barred by the two-year statute of limitations.”

A decision whether to dismiss will fall on the shoulders of Osage County District Court Judge Stuart Tate. The suit was filed April 10 and also named another firm as a defendant. It was Symmetry Energy company based in Houston, Texas.

Click below to the link in Osage County District Court: