Mayor Taylor opposes PSO rate hike

Wednesday, 14 January 2009
Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor is urging the Oklahoma Corporation Commission to deny a Referee’s recommendation that American Electric Power-Public Service Company of Oklahoma be granted at $92-million dollar electric utility rate hike for its customers.

"Few businesses with significant profit margins have the luxury of asking for increased prices. The increase comes at a time when we must be looking at a way to soften the blow to consumers", Taylor said.

The Referee overseeing the case, Meribeth Snapp, has recommended that the Oklahoma Corporation Commissioners allow AEP-PSO to recover a total of $92-million from its customers; a $70-million rate increase and the remaining $22-million though other recovery mechanisms. The Mayor’s office is urging Commissioners to arrive at a fair solution to all stakeholders which will not create undue hardship on PSO’s customers, including commercial and industrial customers who are providing jobs to thousands of hardworking Oklahomans.

The Tulsa metropolitan area represents 25% of the citizens in the state of Oklahoma. As Mayor, Taylor has worked hand-in-hand with the private sector to create an environment that fosters job creation and economic growth for the Tulsa area. "This increase places current jobs at risk and the City’s economic well-being in jeopardy," she said.

"Whether AEP believes the approach they have taken with PSO is a profitable strategy because of their success in previous rate cases in Oklahoma is unknown, but on the surface, Ohio based AEP, through PSO, appears to have targeted this region to repeatedly seek such rate increase," Taylor said.

Taylor testified in opposition, before the Oklahoma Corporation Commission in December, telling Commissioners, "We must be mindful and protective about cost increases during this time, particularly for those families that we’re seeing falling out of the safety net, lower income families and senior citizens. This economy makes it incumbent on all of us, whether in business or in government, to make sure every dollar that we have been entrusted with from our citizens, is spent responsibly and with our customers’ well-being in mind," the Mayor said.

The Corporation Commission may rule on the rate increase as early as this week.
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 14 January 2009 )