Claremore Daily Progress

July 11, 2013

Rep. Sherrer wants GRDA independence, price protected

Staff Reports
Special to the Progress


Rep. Ben Sherrer, D-Chouteau believes that any changes to the Grand River Dam Authority should preserve the agency’s independence and price protections for Oklahoma energy consumers.
“The Grand River Dam Authority is an efficient energy provider for the communities it serves,” said Sherrer. “Without assuming there is an outcome-oriented, sham study being contemplated by the Governor or Secretary Doerflinger, the truth is additional costly reviews at this time are likely not a wise use of taxpayer funds given the comprehensive audit of GRDA by Republican State Auditor Gary Jones just over a year ago. Recommendations from that audit are already being implemented under the watch of former Republican lawmaker and current CEO Dan Sullivan.”
“I believe public power generation provides a valuable commodity at a fair price to its consumers,” said Sherrer. “But public power helps keep the energy marketplace in check at the same time. That benefits the current customers of privately owned utilities. There are market synergies with public and private utilities that ensure a stable marketplace for the consumer and Oklahoma policymakers should give pause before doing anything to disturb that delicate balance.”
“That said, any review of the GRDA must be independent and consider the needs of all stakeholders involved,” said Sherrer. “I agree with Rep. Cox, however, that the use of Executive Branch muscle may very well be a Washington DC style overreach that should be given strict scrutiny by the public.”
The GRDA operates coal fired and hydro generation facilities within Rep. Sherrer’s legislative district.