PSO wants a rate hike, but state officials say rates should go down instead

Wednesday, January 5th 2005, 1:11 pm

By: News On 6

As icy weather moves across northeastern Oklahoma, many folks are hoping Green Country doesn't get hit with a lot of power outages.

PSO is hoping for as few outages as possible, but the company is dealing with other power problems. PSO wants to raise your rates to make up for a budget shortfall and to fund service improvements, but the Oklahoma Corporation Commission disagrees and says rates should be going down instead.

News on 6 anchor Terry Hood says an commission review of PSO's books revealed the company is operating $40-million in the red. PSO says a rate hike is the only way to meet all of their customers' and the state's demands.

The company filed a proposal to raise rates to fund a power reliability project. The project would triple the number of tree trimming crews and would allow PSO to start burying electric lines in problem areas.

PSO says a rate decrease might not be a benefit for customers because it just can't see how the state expects them to do more with less. PSO spokesman Stan Whiteford: "We have cut and cut and cut. But we can't sustain further cuts and still be able to provide our customers with the service they expect and deserve."

This case is still far from being solved. There are hearings, rebuttal testimony, and commissioner deliberations still to come.

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