American Gas Association Responds to FERC’s Winter Storm Elliott Report
Washington, D.C. – The American Gas Association (AGA) today commented on the release of a new report on natural gas utility actions during Winter Storm Elliott from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
During Winter Storm Elliott in 2022, there was record-breaking U.S. domestic demand for natural gas coupled with steep production declines and operational challenges at select points along the natural gas value chain. This triggered an emergency declaration in the greater New York Metropolitan area as the system faced reliability-threatening low pressures on delivery pipelines. Gas utilities relied on successful contingency plans to ensure customer reliability throughout the area. Had pressures in the area continued to decline, there could have been a loss of service requiring weeks or months for recovery time, which would have left many customers in the life-threatening position of being without heat during an extreme cold weather event.
“This FERC report aligns closely with our own concerns following Winter Storm Elliott,” said Matthew Agen, AGA’s Chief Regulatory Counsel, Energy. “The record-breaking demand at a time of steep production declines and upstream pipeline operational challenges forced some of our member companies to rely on contingency plans to ensure customer reliability. While we’re proud that our members were able to continue to supply life-sustaining energy even under these difficult circumstances, ensuring that the system can operate normally without having to rely on such contingency plans during challenging events is a top priority for our industry. The reliability of the natural gas delivery system underpins the energy system as a whole – and we take that responsibility very seriously.”
Agen continued, “The American Gas Association looks forward to working with FERC and state authorities to ensure and enhance reliable natural gas deliverability to gas utilities. To the extent further statutory authority is needed to ensure reliability for gas utilities, we look forward to engaging with members of Congress and other stakeholders.”
AGA supports efforts by stakeholders, regulators, and legislatures to ensure natural gas utility reliability and resilience. AGA also consistently supports additional natural gas infrastructure needed to support the reliability of natural gas utilities and the electric grid.
Every year, the natural gas utility industry plans, prepares, and invests in ensuring life-sustaining energy reliability during a range of weather events, especially during extreme conditions. Guided by experience and regulatory oversight, natural gas utilities plan natural gas deliveries on a daily, weekly, monthly, and seasonal basis by matching supply resources to forecasted demand and preparing for “Design Day” conditions or historic peak day loads. Learn more about how gas utilities prepare for winter and see AGA’s winter heating outlook here.