Chuck Gray, Secretary of State (Dan Cepeda, Oil City News)

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Secretary of State Chuck Gray submitted a public comment today to the Wyoming Public Service Commission opposing Rocky Mountain Power’s two proposed rate increases.

The rates currently before the commission include the 2023 General Rate Increase Application of $140.2 million per year and a 2023 Energy Cost Adjustment Mechanism of $50.3 million.

The commission has a public hearing scheduled in Casper on Aug. 24 at the Thyra Thomson State Office Building, 444 W. Collins Drive, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. It plans to schedule public comment hearings in Laramie and Fremont counties in the near future.

Citing the Secretary of State’s role as the registrar of businesses in the state of Wyoming, Gray comments that the rate increases are bad for Wyoming’s citizens and small businesses. The rates are also troubling in light of Rocky Mountain Power’s recent move toward renewable energy and away from Wyoming coal, according to Gray.

“Rocky Mountain Power’s proposed rate increase presents a direct threat to Wyoming by raising the costs of residential, commercial and industrial energy customers,” Gray writes. “The effect of this outrageous increase on Wyoming residential customers would be catastrophic. It would be a double whammy, amplifying the inflation that is crippling us, increasing the costs of goods across the board and also directly through increases in energy costs. In recent weeks, I have fielded calls and emails from small business owners in the state expressing their concern that the rate increases will put them out of business and also cause them to pass their costs directly onto consumers in the form of higher prices. Neither of these outcomes are in the public interest.

“I remain deeply concerned and troubled that Rocky Mountain Power’s proposed rate increase will force Wyomingites to foot the bill for awful federal and coastal state policies focused exclusively on decreasing emissions and propping up green energy as opposed to reducing rates for its customers.”

Gray’s public comment can be found here.