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Attorney General Hunter Sends Letter to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Seeking Corporate Tax Savings Passed to Utility Customers

Attorney General Hunter Sends Letter to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Seeking Corporate Tax Savings Passed to Utility Customers

OKLAHOMA CITY – Attorney General Mike Hunter has sent a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), urging the commission, through its authority as the nation’s energy regulator, take action at the wholesale level to ensure all possible corporate tax savings are captured to ultimately result in lower retail utility bills. This will facilitate the orderly transfer of the tax windfall to retail customers.

The letter recommends the FERC lower utility rates under its jurisdiction as quickly as possible, and to begin tracking all excess accumulated deferred income tax, as well as other savings.

Most Oklahoma electric utilities rely on transmission service regulated by FERC. State utilities pass the costs on to customers through utility rates. Both electric and natural gas utilities pass along gas transportation costs to customers. A reduction in FERC-approved rates will ultimately reduce the rates paid by Oklahoma utility customers.

In part, the letter reads, “Without prompt action, retail customers will continue paying rates that include excessive, unjust and unreasonable wholesale electricity transmission and gas transportation rates, which they have been paying since the (Tax) Act became effective on Jan. 1.”

Attorney General Hunter said adopting his recommendations will ensure the benefits of the federal tax cut will go where intended.

“We are asking the commissioners at the FERC to stand behind the agency’s mission to assist consumers in obtaining reliable, sustainable energy at reasonable costs,” Attorney General Hunter said. “The corporate tax cuts have created a dividend for major corporations that should be passed on to customers. We implore the commissioners to act quickly by doing their part at the wholesale level.”

The recommendations made by Attorney General Hunter were similar to the motions filed by the Attorney General’s Office in December with the Oklahoma Corporation Commission requesting an immediate reduction in customer rates from the state’s leading utility companies.

Read about the attorney general’s additional action to get state utility providers to pass the savings from the federal income tax cut back to customers, here: http://bit.ly/2DEoBHx.

The FERC regulates the interstate transmission of natural gas, oil and electricity. It also regulates natural gas and hydropower. The FERC grants market-based rate authorization for wholesale sales of electric energy, capacity and ancillary services.

The attorney general represents the interests of Oklahoma utility customers in state and federal rate-related proceedings.

To read the attorney general's letter, click here