El Pasoans May Have To Pay To Cover TX Winter Storm Costs
Keep a close eye on your gas bill because State Legislation could force El Pasoans to pay for the Texas Winter Storm that occurred earlier this year.
Remember Valentine's Day 2021 – that's when Winter Storm Uri hit, crippling the State as an Arctic freeze swept through the country's central and southern parts, including East Texas, bringing dangerously low temperatures not seen in decades and triggering a winter storm warning.
We felt the cold front here in El Paso too, but unlike the rest of the State, El Pasoans never lost power because we source our services from a different power grid.
For the first time in history, Texas's entire State was placed under a winter storm warning prompting a Federal Emergency Declaration.
The cold snap was responsible for rolling blackouts affecting over 3 million residents left without water and resources for weeks. Natural gas pipelines froze, and so did wildlife and even people sadly perished under such extreme conditions.
As a result, the Texas Legislature passed legislation (HB 1520) to allow gas utilities to recover costs associated with the storm, and now El Pasoans might have to pay up.
It seems unfair, right? Well, tell that to Texas Gas Service and 11 other gas utilities that filed a joint application with the Railroad Commission of Texas. The application would allow Texas Gas Service to recover costs associated with Winter Storm Uri, resulting in an average monthly bill increase of about $52 per year for the next ten years.
The City of El Paso has now intervened on our behalf and has filed testimony stating that the added fee disproportionately impacts El Paso customers.
Make Your Voice Heard
A hearing is scheduled before the Railroad Commission of Texas on November 2-3, 2021. The El Paso community is encouraged to contact the Texas Gas Service and the Commission to ask questions and voice their objections and concerns regarding the potential price hike.
Public comments will only be accepted in writing and submitted by Monday, November 1 —the day before the hearing.
El Pasoans may also send in comments by e-mail to Sharon.Koren@rrc.texas.gov or via snail mail at:
- Hearings Division (Docket OS-7061)
- Attn: Sharon Koren
- Railroad Commission of Texas
- 1701 N. Congress
- Austin, Texas 78701