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WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Roger Marshall, M.D. (R-Kan.) today requested an update from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) regarding its investigation into the historic natural gas prices burdening many Kansans because of severe weather in February.

“Mulberry, Kansas, a town of about 500 with its own municipal gas utility, has had to resort to suing BP, alleging that the resource company charged them more than 100 times the price of natural gas during Presidents’ Day weekend,” wrote the senators. “Unfortunately, there are many similar anecdotes in Kansas and surrounding states….On February 22, FERC announced that its Office of Enforcement would be examining wholesale natural gas and electricity market activity during the severe winter weather events to determine if there was any wrongdoing by market participants. We are requesting an update on that investigation, as well as any other actions the Commission has taken in response to these events.”

The full letter can be found here or below.

Dear Chairman Glick:

On behalf of our constituents, we write today to request an update on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) investigation into the historic natural gas prices experienced by many in the central United States as a result of the severe winter weather in February.

As you know, over Presidents’ Day weekend, extreme cold temperatures driving demand for natural gas left impacted municipal gas utilities and their communities no choice but to purchase gas at inflated prices or pay even steeper penalties to ensure their customers could continue to heat their homes.  While much attention has been focused on Texas and ERCOT, residents of other states, including our own, continue to struggle with the consequences of this pricing.

For instance, the Kansas Municipal Gas Agency was forced to spend approximately $30 million to purchase gas for its members during those four days, over 3 times their annual gas purchasing budget.  Mulberry, Kansas, a town of about 500 with its own municipal gas utility, has had to resort to suing BP, alleging that the resource company charged them more than 100 times the price of natural gas during Presidents’ Day weekend.  Unfortunately, there are many similar anecdotes in Kansas and surrounding states.

On February 22, FERC announced that its Office of Enforcement would be examining wholesale natural gas and electricity market activity during the severe winter weather events to determine if there was any wrongdoing by market participants.  We are requesting an update on that investigation, as well as any other actions the Commission has taken in response to these events.

Thank you for your attention to this critical matter.

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