AARP Oklahoma is celebrating a legislative victory after the State Senate did not hear Senate Bill 300 – a proposal the association says would have increased electric rates.
AARP mounted an integrated campaign to stop the bill that included in-person lobbying at the Corporation Commission by key volunteers, an e-mail campaign that generated more than 700 contacts to state senators, a state-wide press release, television interviews, an online video and an audio news release that reached more than 1.5 million Oklahomans.
“I want to congratulate our volunteers for your successful efforts,” said State Director Sean Voskuhl. “This is a great example of how AARP makes life better for older Oklahomans.”
SB 300 would have committed Oklahomans to pay utility rates based on speculation about future laws. If such speculation was wrong, ratepayers would have been stuck with increased utilities bills when utility companies sought rate increases to offset their incorrect speculation. In addition, the bill would have made it possible for utility companies to recover costs on future capital expenditures before they were built. CWIP (construction work in progress) places an unfair burden on ratepayers rather than having stockholders bear the risks and greatly increases electricity bills for families and businesses.
A recently released survey of 50+ Oklahomans shows that almost half of those polled had trouble paying their monthly utility bills.
AARP Oklahoma is seeking volunteers interested in working on utility issues including potential rate increases and CWIP. The association is forming a “Utilities Watchdog Team.” If you are interested in volunteering for the “AARP Oklahoma Utilities Watchdog Team” please e-mail the state office for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.