Court: PSC Did Not Violate Law by Approving Gas Rate Increase

LITTLE ROCK, AR - The Arkansas Court of Appeals ruled today that state regulators did not violate ratepayers' rights when they approved Arkansas Oklahoma Gas Company's $4.4 million rate increase in 2005 before considering 31 pages of public testimony.

The court, however, said the Arkansas Public Service Commission must address why April was included as a winter heating month in the rate increase, a decision that shifted more of the increase onto residential ratepayers.

Last year, Governor Mike Beebe, then the attorney general, appealed the ruling and said it violated state law and ratepayers' rights because the comments of several ratepayers opposed to the increase were not considered.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)