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Texas regulators investigating Atmos Energy for natural gas service failures during freeze


The Texas Railroad Commission, the agency that regulates the state’s oil and natural gas industry, is investigating Atmos Energy for failures in its natural gas services during last week’s deep freeze.

Earlier this week, Gov. Greg Abbott sent letters to state Attorney General Ken Paxton and the Railroad Commission directing them to investigate why many of the company’s customers in North and Central Texas were left without the natural gas necessary to use their water heaters, stoves, and furnaces as temperatures plunged in the days before Christmas.

In announcing the launch of the investigation late Wednesday, the Railroad Commission said Atmos Energy had reported “low pressure” as the reason why customers in parts of the state were experiencing interruptions in their natural gas services on Dec. 23. The company told the Railroad Commission the issue was resolved by the afternoon of Dec. 24.

In his letters this week, Abbott called the company’s performance during the freeze “unacceptable.”

“These failures forced the City of Grand Prairie to open a warming center for its residents. There were also widespread reports of customers unable to reach any Atmos Energy customer service representative,” Abbott wrote. “Substantial evidence supports the conclusion that Atmos Energy either was unprepared for the winter weather system, failed to perform for its customers as promised, or both.”

As part of the investigation, the Railroad Commission is seeking information from Atmos Energy on the cause and duration of the service outages, the number and location of the customers affected, and detailed plans for how the company will prevent similar issues in the future while also meeting growth in demand.




Published on 1/20/2023 (61 days ago) Energy Crisis