Oklahoma Attorney General asks to delay hearing into PSO plan for regional haze

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt said more information is needed about future electricity demand at Public Service Co. of Oklahoma before a compliance plan to deal with regional haze is decided by state environmental officials. A public hearing into the plan will go ahead Monday.
by Paul Monies Published: May 18, 2013
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“We decided we could no longer wait for PSO to file the plan and wrote a letter to express our office's concerns about the lack of information, which could negatively affect utility consumers,” Clay said in an email.

The utility expects to submit information on its demand growth to the Corporation Commission by early June, said spokesman Stan Whiteford. PSO needs another 250 megawatts of capacity than it projected last year, a development stemming from additional oil and gas production in the state.

An attorney for PSO's parent company, Ohio-based American Electric Power, said in a letter Friday that Pruitt's request for a delay wasn't appropriate because the plan's costs for ratepayers should be evaluated by the Corporation Commission. The utility's updated resource plan wouldn't provide much insight into the environmental plan before the department, said Janet Henry, AEP's deputy general counsel.

The environmental compliance plan calls for PSO to retire its last two Oklahoma coal units at the Northeastern Station plant near Oologah. PSO plans to shut down one coal unit in 2016. It would install equipment to limit emissions on the other coal unit before retiring it by 2026.

A separate hearing into how much ratepayers should pay for the costs of PSO's regional haze plan has been stayed by the Oklahoma Corporation Commission until the environmental plan is approved.

Separately, Pruitt last year joined Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co. in an appeal over EPA's disapproval of a state implementation plan for regional haze. That appeal is awaiting a ruling by the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver.

by Paul Monies
Energy Reporter
Paul Monies is an energy reporter for The Oklahoman. He has worked at newspapers in Texas and Missouri and most recently was a data journalist for USA Today in the Washington D.C. area. Monies also spent nine years as a business reporter and...
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We decided we could no longer wait for PSO to file the plan and wrote a letter to express our office's concerns about the lack of information, which could negatively affect utility consumers.”

Diane Clay,
Spokeswoman for Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt

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