Greg Abbott, the governor of Texas, said on Wednesday that he wrote letters to Christi Craddick, the chairwoman of the Railroad Commission of Texas, and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.
The letters request that their respective authorities look into Atmos Energy’s inability to provide essential natural gas service to Texans in north and central Texas and to adequately prepare for the recent winter weather event.
One of the letters states, “State of Texas agencies worked around the clock to deploy resources and help utilities in every manner necessary throughout the winter event and the weeks leading up to it.”
“Atmos Energy never requested aid. Atmos’ actions are inexcusable, and something must be done to prevent them from happening again the next time our state is hit by cold weather. I want [your agency] to look into Atmos Energy for these reasons. There is a need for [your agency’s] inquiry to be finished quickly since the winter season has just begun and Atmos customers deserve to have dependable natural gas delivery this winter.”
On December 23, Dallas-based Atmos urged nearly 2 million customers throughout Texas to reduce their gas use by lowering their thermostats, turning off their gas fireplaces, and skipping the use of their ovens, washers, and dryers over the unusually chilly Christmas holiday.
In communities throughout North and Central Texas, the firm reported low gas pressure, which left some customers without heat.
The business tweeted that customer care lines will be closed for the holidays; the message has since been removed. Atmos Energy stated to the Tribune on Wednesday that part of its obligation to the public was “undertaking operational planning and preparedness to ensure such safe and dependable service all throughout the year.”
“In spite of our best efforts last week, some of our customers nevertheless suffered natural gas supply outages. That is not acceptable, the business said in a statement, and it promised to cooperate with regulators to resolve the problems.