In response to news of dramatic natural gas price spikes last week following the historic winter storms, Sen. Kim David, R-Porter, released the following statement.
“The Senate is aware of this troubling news. We have met and will continue meeting with Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter and other state officials to examine concerns regarding a possible major increase to gas utility bills in the coming months for Oklahoma customers. The extreme natural gas prices may also impact electric utility bills as most electricity in the state is produced by natural gas-fired generators. We are working on a possible mitigation plan to protect consumers.
“The Attorney General’s office is also looking into the market price increases that occurred alongside rolling blackouts and warnings to limit energy use by utility companies under the Southwest Power Pool. Under Oklahoma’s Emergency Price Stabilization Act, our price gouging statute, the price of goods and services can’t increase more than 10% after a declared emergency, which has been done by both the governor and president. The AG’s office is researching whether these price increases violate state law. Currently, petroleum is the only commodity exempt from the statute leaving natural gas utilities and commodities markets subject to the law. We are awaiting the AG’s decision on this issue.
“Please know that we will do all we can to protect Oklahomans from financial hardships stemming from these outrageous price hikes and historic winter weather.”
For more information, contact: Sen. David: (405) 521-5590 or Kim.David@oksenate.gov
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