The Norman Transcript

Opinion

September 10, 2013

Count the cost of emission requirements

NORMAN — The Oklahoma Corporation Commission’s recent dismissal of the application of Public Service Company of Oklahoma involving PSO’s settlement with the Environmental Protection Agency is by no means an end to the issues or their potential cost to all Oklahomans.

For PSO customers, it’s important to understand that the company and the EPA have already signed the agreement dealing with the utility’s approach to meeting certain EPA emission requirements. Assuming final approval from the EPA, which has opened the public comment period on the agreement, there will be a cost, and it is a cost the utility will no doubt try and recover from its ratepayers.

PSO’s rough estimate of the cost is $88 million a year, about an 11 percent rise in the average bill. Critics of the plan say it will be much more. The agreement also was signed by the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality, the Oklahoma Secretary of Environment and the Sierra Club before it was submitted to the Corporation Commission.

Meanwhile, Oklahoma Gas and Electric and Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt have taken a different approach and launched a legal challenge against the EPA. But even if the state or the utility wins a victory, there still will have to be a plan and price tag for dealing with federal environmental mandates.

Regardless of where you stand in the debate over proposed or actual federal rules regarding power plant emissions, the costs involved will impact far more than just our electric bills.

The cost of new emission requirements is of huge concern not only to residential consumers but Oklahoma’s employers, as well. From oil and gas production and exploration to manufacturing and retailing, the price of electricity is a critical element to the question of success or failure and whether there will be more or fewer jobs.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • State is No. 2 in barbecue

    Americans love the marriage of smoke, fire and meat, but geography plays a part in how strong the passion is. Estately Blog has created a map charting which states are home to the most barbecue enthusiasts. Oklahoma comes in at No. 2 in ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Community Action mostly closed due to cutbacks

    Editor, The Transcript: The Community Action, at 1155 E Main St. in Norman, for decades has served Cleveland County with the following everyday services: a food pantry, short-term housing for the homeless, providing rides for those without ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Keep guns off campus

    Some Oklahoma lawmakers just won’t let the issue of allowing handguns on campus to go away. A joint legislative study will take a look at campuses around the nation to see if there is a way to accommodate faculty, staff and students who ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Improving children’s lives

    Social service organizations that have long-term debt for their headquarters and operating needs often spend much of their fundraising efforts meeting those obligations....

    July 29, 2014

  • Nutritional article should be accurate

    I read with interest the July 13 article “Are low-carb diets really healthy?” by Cassidie Day. Unfortunately, a number of statements in this article were incorrect. The first problematic statement was, “Carbs are an essential nutrient ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Hospital story headline was too sensationalized

    Editor, The Transcript: On July 18, The Transcript ran a front page article with the headline “Lawsuit filed against Norman Regional — Civil suit alleges improper billing practices by NRH and contracted physicians groups.” As a first page ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Congress should close gaps

    Of all of Edward Snowden’s revelations about electronic surveillance by the National Security Agency, the most unsettling was that the government was accumulating vast numbers of records about the telephone calls of American citizens. In ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Border obsession overlooks trade

    Texas Gov. Rick Perry made headlines recently by ordering 1,000 National Guard troops to the border. This bravado comes at a price: $12 million a month. Perry plans to send the bill the federal government. That’s one way to finance your ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Intercession badly needed in this world

    Yesterday was my feast day, or as the Italians call it, my “onomastico.” Since I live in the United States, it went completely unnoticed. If I lived in Italy, however, I would have been showered with cards and phone calls. That’s because ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Help better than commentary

    For the last seven years, I have helped run Hands Helping Paws, an animal welfare and rescue group that fosters Norman’s abandoned animals and advocates for spay and neuter initiatives to reduce our community’s problems with stray and ...

    July 27, 2014