ONG asks to be allowed to charge more for natural gas

Thursday, September 28th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Oklahoma City-AP) -- Oklahoma Natural Gas is asking the state Corporation Commission for permission to charge consumers more for natural gas.

The company says it's making the request because of the rising price of natural gas. O-N-G spokesman Don Sherry says the objective is to charge consumers what the company pays for gas.

State law allows O-N-G and other utilities to raise the amount they charge for gas anytime the market price for gas increases 15 percent or more.

Gas prices have risen above five dollars per thousand cubic feet -- that's more than 100 percent higher than last year.

The company wants to raise the base cost of gas by 21 percent.

A portion of the increase would be passed on to consumers because the cost of gas makes up a major portion of the bill.

Ernest G. Johnson is director of the Corporation Commission's Public Utility Division. Johnson says staff propose approving the request.

A memo says not approving the request could lead to artificial increases in consumer bills during non-winter months.