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OG&E wants to raise your electric bill… again.

10:44 AM EST on January 10, 2024

Here in a few days, Oklahoma is going to be slapped in the face by a huge winter blast of arctic air.

KFOR is already ringing the social media algorithm alarm bells, warning this will be the chilliest air to hit Oklahoma since the infamous February 2021 arctic coldnado that plunged temperatures into the single and negative digits... and allowed OG&E to collude with their pals in the energy industry to purchase natural gas at absurdly over-inflated rates, and then pass on the cost to Oklahoma residents via hefty rate increases for the next 30 years.

Yep, utility companies like OG&E are hard at work preparing for the cold weather.

Granted, that “preparation” is probably just CEO Sean Trauschke having cocktails at River Oaks with his natural gas industry buddies trying to figure out how they can exploit the cold weather for massive financial gain, but at least they’ll be ready and prepared!

Before the upcoming cold spell was on the weather radar, OG&E – the corporate monopoly that has power and influence over the public commission that is supposed to regulate it – was already hard at work trying to push through another rate increase.

Here are details via a Barb Hoberock article for something called Oklahoma Voice:

OG&E customers may soon see a bill hike.

The public utility is asking the three-member Oklahoma Corporation Commission to approve a $332 million rate hike annually.

If approved, the average residential customer will see an increase of $19.02 per month compared to current rates, according to documents the utility filed with the Oklahoma Corporation Commission on Dec. 29...

For residential customers, it is about a 13.85% increase in their monthly bill, according to the company.

Quick aside – When did Barb Hoberock make the jump from the fledgling Tulsa World to the trendy world of nonprofit news?!

The Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Famer is a huge TLO fan and has always been in our corner, using her many, many, many decades of experience and expertise to provide advice, wisdom, and guidance on our content, and more importantly, let us know the best bourbons to help you sleep each night. We wish her the best of luck at Oklahoma Voice before moving into corporate or government PR.

So back to the topic at hand – the publicly-traded monopoly OG&E screwing over Oklahomans of all ages with yet another rate increase!

Here’s how OG&E justified their decision to take money from the pockets of Oklahoma residents and stuff it into bank vaults of their institutional shareholders, oil and gas buddies, and CEO Sean Trauschke who, according to Mr. Google, makes $1.5 million a year in base compensation.

“The majority of this rate review includes new technologies like grid automation that can reroute power during outages, new substation construction to support our growing service area, storm response, and electric grid hardening to improve reliability for our customers and strengthen the grid against the extreme weather that impacts Oklahoma,” said Christi Woodworth, OG&E vice president of marketing and communications.

I have an idea for OG&E.

Instead of raising rates on customers, why don’t you simply lower your stock dividend for 2024, cut executive bonuses, and implement other cost-saving measures so ou can invest in grid automation? That seems like a good idea, huh?

Hehe. Just kidding. Why do that when you're a legalized monopoly that controls the Oklahoma Corporation Commission and can essentially charge powerless residential customers whatever you want?

For her article in Oklahoma Voice, Four Roses Hoberock also talked to her old Tulsa World editor Wayne Green about the rate increases. That’s because Wayne abandoned the field of journalism to instead spew propaganda for public utilities:

PSO has also given notice it intends to seek a rate adjustment, but hasn’t as of Wednesday released details.

“The team at PSO shares our customers’ concerns about rising costs, and we are committed to working efficiently to maintain affordability,” said Wayne Greene, PSO region communications manager.

I don’t know if Barb cut off the rest of the quote, or if Wayne simply forgot to include it, but I believe it went “Either way, we’re still going to raise your rates because public utilities control the Oklahoma Corporation Commission.”

Anyway, I guess I’m going to wrap this up so I can get my faucets dripping in preparation for the big cold spell that public utilities will likely use as an excuse to raise electric rates. When they do, we’ll be sure to let you know and complain about it.

Stay with The Lost Ogle. We’ll keep you advised.

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