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David Deaton

David Deaton

Digital Editor at Oklahoma Welcome

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Press release



OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Corporation Commission (OCC) voted 3-0 in favor of OG&E to purchase the AES Shady Point (AESSP) coal plant in SE Oklahoma near Poteau and the Oklahoma Cogeneration gas plant located near Oklahoma City.


Both plants were selected as winning bids in OG&E’s recent Request for Proposals (RFP) that included 19 bidders who submitted 94 proposals.

 

The 94 bids included all types of electric production including natural gas, coal, wind, solar and battery storage. All were reviewed for consideration. The total purchase price for the two winning projects combined is $53 million.


Now that the hearings have concluded and the OCC voted unanimously in favor of the purchases of the two plants, one of the parties that participated in the RFP bid process, the ONETA plant owned by LS Power and represented by Oklahoma Energy Results (OER), is threatening to file a possible stay on the Commission’s final decision.


Phillips 66 (formerly called Conoco Phillips) is also represented by OER and is the largest consumer of electric from OG&E involved in the case.


If OER does file a stay, this will delay the sale of the two plants and affect hundreds of rural employees going back to work and vendors not providing products or services.


“This is nothing more than a power plant who did not meet the RFP bid specifications trying to bully their way to victory,” said Lundy Kiger, R-Poteau.


In consideration now of filing a possible stay with the OCC, OER in their final attempt in a hearing last week told commissioners the OG&E RFP process wasn’t transparent, open or fair.


“This couldn’t be further from the truth,” Kiger said. “OG&E went beyond the requirements to ensure fairness and transparency in the entire RFP process.


“The OG&E RFP was for capacity only, and did not include energy, because the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) that power is bid into accepts bids only for capacity (electric), and not energy (fuel) or maintenance recovery. So it only makes sense that OG&E would bid their RFP to reflect the same criteria everyone falls under with the SPP."


“As a long-time former employee of AES Shady Point (retired January 31, 2019, when the AESSP contract with OG&E ended) and who participated directly on the AESSP RFP team, we worked very hard as a company in participating in OG&E’s RFP by meeting all requirements to the letter, or we risked being eliminated from the bid process.” Kiger said.


This was the same situation and criteria for all 19 bidders as well, including ONETA, who participated and was under the same requirements to comply with all specifics of the RFP bid request from OG&E.


The ONETA plant represented by OER did not follow the bid specifications, and their bid was deemed non-compliant and eliminated.


Kiger stated, “OG&E made it very clear from the beginning in the RFP process and communicated every step of the way the need for the process to be clear, open and transparent for bidders to meet the requirements. From what I saw personally while at AES Shady Point plant and involved in the RFP process, OG&E went well beyond what was required to keep all parties and participants informed.”


The ONETA plant is a merchant facility with multiple off-takers who bid into the RFP offering a Power Purchase Agreement that did not meet the criteria. Now, ONETA through OER is complaining that OG&E was unfair and the RFP should have been offered as a Purchase Power Agreement (PPA) option in the RFP bid, Kiger said.


Kiger added, “After OG&E announced the winning bids there was also a 15 day period of which all parties were aware and any party could contest the RFP process and no one, including OER, took issue with anything related to the process used by OG&E during this time period. But now, six months later, when the two plants selected by OG&E and have been approved for purchase unanimously by the three commissioners, OER wants to complain and cry foul.”


Kiger went on to say, “If OER goes through with their threat of a stay and receives approval to proceed, this puts AES Shady Point and Oklahoma Cogeneration and all their workers in jeopardy.”


“The threat by OER puts $60 million annually at risk to the Southeast Oklahoma region alone. That affects approximately 700 direct and in-direct rural jobs related to power generation, mining, trucking, maintenance and local vendors. Not to mention, banks with home mortgages and car payments and retail stores that will be hurt,” Kiger said.


Kiger met with Phillips on Tuesday to discuss his dissatisfaction with Phillips’ participation with OER on a possible stay. Kiger is scheduled to meet again with Phillips on Monday with regulatory officials. Kiger said he will also contact LS Power who owns the ONETA facility to deliver the same message.


Kiger went on to say that AESSP is the biggest thing to happen to SE Oklahoma in the past 28 years and has helped to create thousands of rural jobs in SE Oklahoma.


“AESSP is our Google, our Amazon and our oil fields of Southeast Oklahoma,” Kiger said. “We will work hard to make sure this plant is owned by OG&E, because AESSP followed the RFP and did it right in winning the bid!”

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Kiger Slams ONETA & Phillips 66 Possible Protest Of AES Purchase - 4.0 out of 5 based on 1 vote

 

Information from multiple sources

 

The Oklahoma's Corporation Commission approved the sale of the AES Shady Point to OG&E for approximately $27 million.

 

The agreement was reached on Friday, May 10, 2019 after the corporation commission spent hours hearing arguments about the competitive bidding process that OGE used to make its selections and about a rate adjustment connected to its plan. The actual vote by the Commissioners took place on Monday after the Friday opportunity for OER to state their disagreements.

 

The sale was announced in Dec 2018, that OG&E would purchase AES Shady Point, 360 Mega Watt coal and natural gas-fired plant utilizing circulating fluidized bed boilers that produce lower emissions due to their design features and emissions controls.

 

OGE also announced they would also purchase a 146-megawatt natural gas-fired, combined cycle plant in west Oklahoma City owned by Oklahoma Cogeneration.

 

The proposal approve the purchase of both plants.

 

The agreement won't allow the utility to begin recovering costs for acquiring the facilities until a pending rate case it has before regulators is settled.

 

While the deal to acquire the plants does affect customers, OGE officials say customers won't see an increase.

 

According to a press release from OG&E, “This will help meet the growing needs of its customers.”

 

The OGE purchase does comes with some opposition.

 

According to an article in the Oklahoman, written by Jack Money, on May 14, 2019, - Jon Laasch, representing Oklahoma Energy Results, has a problem with the competitive bidding process the utility used to select the two plants for purchase.

 

Laasch argued the OGE should have required interested bidders to include long-term fuel and maintenance costs for their facilities, and, that those costs should have been considered by the utility as part of its decision-making process.

 

Laasch stated that a witness testified for Oklahoma Energy Results in the case said that it was estimated that OGE would spend more than $500 million to own and operate the two facilities during the remainder of their useful lives.

 

According to OGE attorney William Hume, "when Oklahoma Energy Results complains it (the process) was biased, what it really means is that the criteria didn't provide an advantage for its client, who was a (losing) bidder.”

 

The Oklahoma Energy Results is considering filing a Stay in the case.

 

Walmart and Sam’s Club representative, Richard Chamberlain, said the retailers were concerned the deal could set a precedence allowing utility companies the ability to avoid the type of analysis regulators conduct whenever a rate increase is sought.

 

OGE Attorney William Hume, stated the joint stipulation requires annual reviews and “True Ups” of cost the same way a rate case would, adding that if additional costs must be recovered by three years, a rate case then would be required.

 

Hume also stated that there were 19 bidders submitted 94 proposals that included fuel sources of coal, natural gas, wind, solar and batteries located at 26 sites within 350 miles of Oklahoma City.

 

Sierra Club of Oklahoma, who planned to obtain AES Shady Point, didn't make arguments Friday, though they did express concern about how AES Shady Point disposed of coal ash generated by its operations.

 

According to OG&E, acquiring the facilities makes financial sense. They estimate it will save OG&E's customers at least $40 million annually because it will cost the utility less to operate them than to buy their power.

 

Press release


FORT SUPPLY, Okla. – Oklahoma Department of Corrections facility security staff, Fugitive Apprehension and Investigations agents and area law enforcement are searching for an inmate who walked away Tuesday afternoon from William S. Key Correctional Center.


Security staff discovered Aaron K. Edwards, 30, missing around 12:40 p.m. at the male minimum-security prison located along US 412 just east of the town of Fort Supply.


He was last seen climbing a fence at the facility and heading south.


Edwards has been in prison since 2009. When he walked away, he was serving time for first-degree burglary and armed robbery. He has other convictions including pointing a firearm, conspiracy, second-degree burglary and car theft.


Edwards is described as white, 5-feet 8-inches tall, weighing about 150 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes.


He has multiple tattoos including a face on his right arm, a clown face on his left shoulder, and the word “Italian” on his right hand.


The public should not approach Edwards or attempt to apprehend him. Anyone with information should call 911 or our escapee hotline at 866-363-1119, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

All calls and emails are confidential.

 

 

Press release


OK Veterans Registry created by Legislature in 2017, is live months ahead of schedule


OKLAHOMA CITY – Legislation providing for greater inclusiveness of Oklahoma military personnel and veterans in the Oklahoma Veterans Registry was signed into law by Gov. Kevin Stitt in late April.


The Oklahoma Veterans Registry is a voluntary registry of all Oklahoma residents serving on active duty or in the Oklahoma National Guard, as well as all honorably discharged veterans residing in the state. The purpose of the registry is to provide better access to state and federal benefits.


Rep. Tommy Hardin (R-Madill) and Sen. Frank Simpson (R-Ardmore) were the authors of House Bill 1198, which created the registry in 2017. The law stipulated that the registry must be completed by 2020.


"This tool provides a straightforward way for our veterans to access information about their current state and federal benefits, as well as find out about other benefits they may be eligible for,” Hardin said. “The registry is a simple way for our state to increase the level of care we can provide for our veterans.”


A bill passed this session, Senate Bill 358 by Simpson and Hardin, creates a new requirement that the State Dept. of Health provide a list of all deaths of Oklahoma veterans to the Veterans Registry so that the registry remains current.


Hardin said the registry went live Wednesday. He and Simpson are both veterans and were the first Oklahoma veterans to sign up for the registry. On Thursday, members of the Legislature’s bicameral, bipartisan Veterans Caucus also enrolled in Veterans Registry.


“I am proud to have played a small part in the creation of the Oklahoma Veterans Registry," Simpson said. "Our state agencies will now be able to verify veteran status. This will ensure that only our veterans are receiving benefits reserved for them and prevent those who do not qualify from abusing those benefits.”


Oklahoma veterans can sign up for the registry at okvets.ok.gov by clicking on the Oklahoma Veterans Registry link.


Tuesday, 14 May 2019 09:21

New Record High for Gross Receipts

Press release

 

OKLAHOMA CITY –Gross Receipts to the Treasury reached a record high in April and demonstrate the Oklahoma economy has continued to expand, State Treasurer Randy McDaniel announced today.

Reports on total state revenue collections in April and over the past 12 months show growth of more than 12 percent, McDaniel said. Monthly receipts have exceeded collections from the same month of the prior year for 25 consecutive months and cumulative 12-month receipts have now topped more than $13.4 billion.

However, McDaniel said that while lagging economic indicators such as gross receipts and unemployment reports show expansion has occurred, a few leading indicators point to a potential slowdown in economic activity.

“Oklahoma gross receipts are at record highs and state unemployment remains at historically low levels, all very positive news,” McDaniel said. “Nevertheless, some leading economic indicators bear a close watch.”

McDaniel specifically referenced the Oklahoma Business Conditions Index, compiled by the Creighton Economic Forecasting Group, and the Leading Index for Oklahoma, from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. Both indexes are respected predictors of future economic activity.

The Creighton report for April dipped below growth neutral for the first time in 21 months, falling to 48.6 from 53.9 in March. Numbers below 50 show anticipated economic contraction and include measures of new orders, production and sales, delivery lead time, inventories and employment.

The Federal Reserve’s Oklahoma index for February dropped into negative territory for the first time in more than three years, but did rebound slightly in the latest report from March 2019. The index considers state-level housing permits, initial unemployment insurance claims, and delivery times from the Institute for Supply Management manufacturing survey, among other factors.

In addition, McDaniel reported that April gross receipts collections on oil and gas production, at $79.8 million, are the lowest monthly total since taxes on production were raised last year. The previous low was $96.2 million in March. Employment in the oil field has been relatively unchanged for about a year.

New Tax Revenue

Revenue generated by increased tax rates approved in House Bill 1010 during special session last year added $47.2 million to monthly collections, 3 percent of all April gross receipts.

The largest amount, $26.3 million, came from the increase in the incentive tax rate on oil and natural gas gross production. Higher tax rates on gasoline and diesel fuel generated $7.5 million, and the $1 per pack hike in cigarette taxes added $13.3 million to the April total.

April collections

April gross collections total $1.6 billion, up $177.9 million, or 12.7 percent, from April 2018.

Gross income tax collections, a combination of individual and corporate income taxes, generated $820.2 million, an increase of $111 million, or 15.7 percent, from the previous April.

Individual income tax collections for the month are $693.5 million, up by $106.9 million, or 18.2 percent, from the prior year. Corporate collections are $126.7 million, an increase of $4.1 million, or 3.4 percent.

Sales tax collections, including remittances on behalf of cities and counties, total $415.6 million in April. That is $5 million, or 1.2 percent, more than April 2018.

Gross production taxes on oil and natural gas generated $79.8 million in April, an increase of $19.2 million, or 31.6 percent, from last April. Compared to March 2019 reports, gross production collections are down by $16.4 million, or 17.1 percent.

Motor vehicle taxes produced $71.1 million, up by $8.3million, or 13.2 percent, from the same month of 2018.

Other collections, consisting of about 60 different sources including use taxes, along with taxes on fuel, tobacco, and alcoholic beverages, produced $194.8 million during the month. That is $34.4 million, or 21.4 percent, more than last April.

Twelve-month collections

Gross revenue totals $13.4 billion from the past 12 months. That is $1.5 billion, or 12.3 percent, more than collections from the previous 12 months.

Gross income taxes generated $4.6 billion for the period, reflecting an increase of $339.6 million, or 8 percent, from the prior 12 months.

Individual income tax collections total $4 billion, up by $285.7 million, or 7.6 percent, from the prior 12 months. Corporate collections are $518.3 million for the period, an increase of $53.9 million, or 11.6 percent, over the previous period.

Sales taxes for the 12 months generated $4.9 billion, an increase of $284 million, or 6.2 percent, from the prior period.

Oil and gas gross production tax collections brought in $1.1 billion during the 12 months, up by $471.1 million, or 73.8 percent, from the previous period.

Motor vehicle collections total $791 million for the period. This is an increase of $25 million, or 3.3 percent, from the trailing period.

Other sources generated $2.1 billion, up by $348.4 million, or 19.9 percent, from the previous year.

About Gross Receipts to the Treasury

The Office of the State Treasurer developed the monthly Gross Receipts to the Treasury report in order to provide a timely and broad view of the state’s macro economy.

It is released in conjunction with the General Revenue Fund allocation report from the Office of Management and Enterprise Services, which provides important information to state agencies for budgetary planning purposes.

The General Revenue Fund receives less than half of the state’s gross receipts with the remainder paid in rebates and refunds, remitted to cities and counties, and apportioned to other state funds.

to view the graphs hit link below

https://www.ok.gov/treasurer/documents/GRT-Apr-2019-Charts.pdf

Allstate press release


Insurance company seeking 21 new agency owners and 84 licensed sales professionals


OKLAHOMA CITY — May 13, 2019 — Oklahoma is growing, and now has more than 3.9 million people living in the state, according to Census data.

 

To keep pace with growing population and consumer demand for insurance and financial services in the state, Allstate is looking to expand the Oklahoma agency force. Of the105 sales professionals Allstate is seeking, 21 will be agency owners and the remaining 84 hired by those small business owners will serve as licensed sales professionals.

 

For the agency owner opportunity, Allstate is seeking people with a strong entrepreneurial drive and passion to help others in their community. These candidates embrace challenges and are able to invest in a small business to ensure its stability and growth. Candidates don’t need an insurance background. Allstate provides them with comprehensive education, coaching and resources.

To help with agency owner recruiting efforts, Allstate is offering a $6,000 bonus to anyone who refers a qualified candidate to Allstate in Oklahoma. The referral bonus is payable upon of the appointment of the candidate as an Allstate agency owner.

 

"Allstate is a trusted brand and an excellent wealth-building opportunity for a small business owner. We are unique among all other insurers because the agent owns the economic interest in their business," said Brandon Nelson, strategic deployment leader for Allstate’s Southwest Region.


As a small business owner with Allstate, hard work is rewarded with a higher earnings potential, and there’s no cap on what you can make. The majority of Allstate agency owners earn between $170,000 and $450,000 gross annual revenue. 

 

Allstate agency owners can leverage one of America’s most recognized brands without ever having to pay a franchise or licensing fee. Candidates interested in becoming an Allstate agency owner need a minimum of $100,000 of liquid capital to invest in their agency. This money does not go to Allstate; it helps ensure the agency can successfully fund the normal day-to-day costs associated with opening and running a business. Sales professionals do not need liquid capital to apply.


To learn more about becoming an Allstate agency owner, visit www.allstateagent.com or call 877-470-8180. Those interested in the sales professional opportunity can apply at

 

www.allstate.com/careers/agency-staff.aspx

 

 

Press release



OKLAHOMA CITY – A bill that revises the entire Oklahoma state military code passed the House of Representatives last week and is awaiting the Governor’s signature.

 

House Bill 2632, authored by State Rep. Chris Kannady, R-Oklahoma City, repeals the current state military code and reconstitutes it with changes that purposefully mirror the active duty Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), which is proven and familiar to new members of the national guard coming off of active-duty as well as providing preparation to non-prior service guardsmen for future active-duty deployments.

 

“This revision of the state Uniform Code of Military Justice was a comprehensive work that took months to complete,” Kannady said. “I worked closely with members of the Oklahoma Legislature’s bicameral, bipartisan Veterans Caucus as well as the Oklahoma Military Department and the Army and Air National Guard JAGs to completely update our state code matching it with our national code.


"The Oklahoma Uniform Code of Military Justice (O-UCMJ) covers all the major areas of military justice such as apprehension, warrants, arrests, restraint, confinement, punishment, court martials, trials, sentencing and punitive articles as well as post-trial procedures and reviews. Perhaps, most importantly for the national guard, the new code provides a robust non-judicial punishment provision which is much more likely than a court-martial to come into play with traditional guardsmen.”

 

The measure updates language dealing with personal liability in the line of duty, protection of assets vital to national security and gender references. It also brings all Oklahoma military forces under the purview of the O-UCMJ, thus providing the tools necessary for commanders to maintain good order and discipline in their respective units.

 

Other important changes include a new requirement that all military publications created by the Oklahoma National Guard be published and archived with Oklahoma Secretary of State for the sake of transparency, due process and creation of a good historical record. The measure also creates a more robust and functional appellate process in the event of a court-martial proceeding.

Press release


WASHINGTON— Congressman Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) on Friday joined a bipartisan group of lawmakers to introduce two bills aimed at reauthorizing and increasing funding for two special diabetes research programs, the Special Statutory Funding Program for Type 1 Diabetes Research (SDP) and the Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDP-I). Both programs are set to expire on September 30th if action is not taken. The legislation would reauthorize both programs for five years and increase each program’s funding from $150 million to $200 million a year.


The bill to reauthorize SDP was introduced by Mullin and Reps. Diana DeGette (D-CO), Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ), and Tom Reed (R-NY). The bill to reauthorize SDP-I was introduced by Mullin, DeGette, O’Halleran, and Reed as well as Reps. Deb Haaland (D-NM), and Tom Cole (R-OK).


“SDP and SDP-I have helped improve lives for people who live with diabetes, especially for those with juvenile diabetes and the Native American population,” said Mullin. “By investing in research, we can find ways to prevent this disease and work towards finding a cure. Indian Country as a whole is affected by a higher rate than any other population. I am grateful for the men and women who operate the SDP and SDP-I programs to ensure our communities receive the preventative care they need to stay healthy.”


“Diabetes affects more Americans than cancer and AIDS, combined,” said DeGette. “One in 10 Americans have this disease, and one out of every four dollars that we spend on health care in this country is spent on treating people with diabetes. Right now, our best chance for finding a cure lies with the Special Diabetes Research Program that’s providing researchers the funding they need to find new ways to prevent and treat this disease. For the sake of our country’s health and economy, it is absolutely critical that we keep this program going until a cure is found.”


“Across Indian Country, limited access to preventative and primary health care has created a unique public health crisis that must be addressed. These communities are more than twice as likely to see diabetes diagnoses among adults,” said O’Halleran. “Since the passage of the Special Diabetes Program for Indians, the rate of diabetes has declined and community health has improved. It is clear that this program works, and I am proud to join my colleagues to introduce bipartisan legislation that reauthorizes and funds it for five years.”


“We care about people struggling with diabetes, and we will do everything we can to support research, treatment, and prevention efforts,” Reed said. “The Special Diabetes Programs has proven successful in delivering groundbreaking research in new treatment, technology and prevention services as well as the treatment and prevention of Type 2 diabetes for American Indians and Alaska Natives. We are pleased to see the overwhelming bipartisan support for this critical program.”


“Every family in this country deserves good health, but Native Americans continue to have the highest prevalence of diabetes, suffering at over two times the national average. With the reauthorization of the Special Diabetes Program for Indians, we can continue prevention and treatment through IHS, Tribal, and Urban Indian health programs to improve the overall health for both adults and children,” said Haaland.


“For more than two decades, the Special Diabetes Program for Indians has served as a vital resource for the well-being of Native Americans. Especially since Native American populations are much more likely to suffer from diabetes than others across the nation, I am proud to join my colleagues in introducing legislation to reauthorize funding for this important program to Indian Country,” said Cole.

 

 

The Pervasive Parenting Center recently awarded their 2019 Teacher of the Year to one local educator.

 

The recipient was chosen for her hard work and dedication in working with children, especially those with disabilities. This is the fifth year for the event.


Janna Gibson, a pre-k teacher at Wister Schools, was chosen as the 2019 Teacher of the Year. According to her peers, Gibson is a dedicated, compassionate and hard-working educator.


“This year has been unique in the amount of students with special needs,” said Principal Keli Cartwright. “Mrs. Gibson has worked diligently to make sure that every student is taught and taken care of. She has stepped out of her comfort zone and truly sought out information and training to better serve her students. She has created a safe environment that fosters every learning style. Each child requires a very unique and individualized learning program, and Mrs. Gibson is willing to make sure that takes place. Her students have made extreme progress socially and academically.”


The Teacher of the Year is nominated by their peers and community members each year, and those nominations are then voted on by the Pervasive Parenting Center board of directors.


“Educators are one of our children’s greatest resources,” said Kodey Toney, PPC Director. “The board members and I work hard to make sure that they know how important they are and that they are appreciated. This is a small way of recognizing them for their dedication to helping children with special needs.”


In addition to an award, the educators were given $50 worth of prizes.


The Pervasive Parenting Center is dedicated to helping families in eastern Oklahoma by providing resources for those living with disabilities.
If you have any questions contact Kodey Toney @ 918-647-1255 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.





Press release

 

PRYOR, OKLA. – The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) is investigating after two bodies were found in a Pryor home that was on fire early Sunday morning.

 

The fire began around 5:40 a.m.

 

After the fire was extinguished, two deceased people were found inside the home located in the 300 block of N. Elliott in Pryor.

 

At that time, the Pryor Police Department requested assistance from the OSBI.

 

The two people inside the home have not yet been identified.

 

The OSBI’s Investigative and Crime Scene Units went to the scene, along with the State Fire Marshal’s Office, and the Pryor Police and Fire Departments.

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