, Muskogee, OK

August 21, 2013

Suspending GRDA review smart move

— Gov. Mary Fallin did the right thing in listening to her constituents and suspending her review of the Grand River Dam Authority.

Fallin created a 15-member task force to complete a “full and thorough study” of the self-funded state agency.

The task force was expected to recommend potential changes to improve efficiencies.

However, critics saw the review as a pretext to privatizing parts or all of the GRDA.

Municipal governments buy electricity from the GRDA.

The cities then sell the electricity to citizens for arguably a lower rate than what a private company can offer.

Many private companies answer to stockholders.

The stockholders buy shares as an investment and expect a positive return on their investment.

It’s a money making operation.

The GRDA is not tethered to the need to make specific amounts of money.

The GRDA can deliver a good product for a good price. Cities can turn around and sell that for a price that many times is lower than strictly for-profit businesses.

That could have been very bad for consumers.

Gov. Fallin’s administration must have heard from her constituents and reacted accordingly.

That’s to her credit.