State Sen. Mike Mazzei wants the Oklahoma Corporation Commission to reject an application that could increase utility costs for AEP-PSO residential and business customers. On Tuesday, Mazzei authored and won approval for Senate Resolution 115, which calls for the Commission to reject a long-term power sales agreement that would force the utility company to buy electricity from a planned cogeneration plant near Lawton.
“I can’t imagine a worse move at a worse time,” said Mazzei, R-Tulsa. “Energy and gas prices are continuing to eat up more and more of Oklahoma household budgets and yet the Corporation Commission is looking at an application that could also force their electric costs higher? It doesn’t make sense and it is wrong.”
The proposal would force AEP-PSO into a twenty-year purchase agreement with a projected adverse economic impact of more than $1 billion at current energy prices. The cogeneration plant is being developed by Oklahoma City based Energetix.
Tulsa area businesses have already spoken out against the proposal in hearings at the Corporation Commission including Bama Cos. Inc., and Kimberly-Clark Corp., which both warned of possible job losses because of the increased cost that would be incurred with this plan.
“This is not a new plan,” Mazzei said. “The Corporation Commission actually approved this back in 2003, but AEP-PSO appealed it to the Oklahoma Supreme Court which ultimately sent it back to the Commission.”
Mazzei said the issue is that the cost to AEP-PSO would simply be too high, and said forcing the utility to purchase that electricity would be blatantly unfair to the company and to its customers throughout northeastern Oklahoma.
“We cannot afford to lose jobs because of an unfair business arrangement, and our citizens should not be forced to pay for over-priced electricity because of this proposal,” Mazzei said. “The Corporation needs to act once and for all to reject this agreement before it causes unnecessary economic harm to northeastern Oklahoma.”