Tina Smith: Democratic senator calls for probe into natural gas price hikes during severe winter storms
Smith specifically requested an investigation into the conditions in the natural gas market over the last week and asked that the acting secretary of the Department of Energy, David Huizenga, and other regulators invoke emergency measures such as the Natural Gas Policy Act, which would regulate natural gas production and transmission.
“These drastic price increases are forcing utilities and other natural gas users to incur exorbitant costs, much of which could be passed along to consumers in the form of higher electric or natural gas bills over the next year,” she wrote.
The high energy bills have prompted a flurry of action in the state.
Smith similarly asked regulators to examine financial support for families affected by the price hikes in Texas and beyond.
“Americans must come together to support each other during times of national crisis, and price gouging by natural gas suppliers is a violation of their moral — and potentially legal — obligations,” she wrote.
“We must come together to provide relief where needed and restore fair and equitable natural gas markets.”