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Utility Dive: Congress Should Prioritize Gas Supply Risks, NERC Says, as Senators Mull Federal Role in Texas Grid.

Posted by Catherine Morehouse on Mar 12, 2021

Utility Dive outlined the Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on the Texas grid failure, quoting AEE’s Jeff Dennis on reliability standards for gas pipelines. Read excerpts below and the full story here.

The head of the U.S. electric reliability organization on Thursday recommended that, if Congress does take action in response to the widespread outages that hit Texas in February, it targets the gas supply side.

"The area that Congress should reflect on, and potentially take action, is to think about how [weatherization] extends into the natural gas and fuel sectors," North American Electric Reliability Corporation President and CEO Jim Robb told senators during an Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing…

Though the hearing focused on electric reliability, gas's increased role in the power sector and its culpability in last month's widespread outages has become a greater focus for those trying to untangle the web of issues that led the Texas grid operator to trigger days-long blackouts…

Ultimately, on the question of what Congress itself could do in order to prevent such disasters in the future, stakeholders came to some agreement that the gas supply side would be a good area to target... 

FERC also has broad jurisdiction over the gas side, including supply markets, pipeline transmission and infrastructure permitting. But the commission's authority does not necessarily allow it to set weatherization standards for the supply side, for example.

"[T]here isn’t an equivalent set of mandatory reliability standards for gas pipelines like there is for the bulk electric system," said Jeff Dennis, who spent over a decade at FERC and is now general counsel and managing director at Advanced Energy Economy, in an email.

Read the full story here.


Topics: AEE In The News