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AG Drummond orders Oklahoma Corporation Commission to hand over communications about 2021 winter storm natural gas charges

 Gentner Drummond wears a dark suit and burgundy tie as he speaks behind a podium before a screen with featuring the Oklahoma Office of Attorney General seal.
Graycen Wheeler
Gentner Drummond announced his plans for legal action at the Oklahoma State Capitol in July.

As Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond investigates natural gas prices during 2021 Winter Storm Uri, he’s putting a magnifying glass on the Oklahoma Corporation Commission.

It’s been nearly three years since Winter Storm Uri blasted through Oklahoma, but ratepayers are still waiting for answers about why natural gas prices climbed so high during the emergency.

In July, Drummond announced what he called “the most significant lawsuit in state history” against natural gas middlemen, saying they artificially restricted the natural gas supply, an unnecessary surge in natural gas prices from $3 per unit to $1200 per unit just as Oklahoma’s temperatures plummeted.

“The conduct in question is well outside the parameters and boundaries of ordinary capitalism,” Drummond said at the time of the announcement.

Oklahoma utility companies were left to foot the $3 billion bill, and the Oklahoma Corporation Commission agreed to let them recover those costs from ratepayers using long-term utility price hikes.

On Nov. 7, Drummond’s office ordered the Oklahoma Corporation Commission to hand over all communications from commissioners and OCC employees that had anything to do with Winter Storm Uri cost recovery. That’s according to The Oklahoman, which obtained a copy of the AG’s subpoena.

“Attorney General Drummond promised Oklahomans he would do everything in his authority to hold accountable bad actors who raked in billions of dollars in ill-gotten gains,” a Drummond spokesperson said in a written statement. “These efforts remain ongoing and will continue until proper relief for ratepayers is secured.”

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Graycen Wheeler is a reporter covering water issues at KOSU as a corps member with Report for America.
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